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Judge sets VEBA trust trial for Sept., 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. — Fiat SpA will have to wait longer than hoped to settle the price to buy out a minority shareholder of its Chrysler Group LLC business after a judge on Monday set a September, 2014, trial.

The Italian automaker had sought a May trial and had offered to fly executives to the United States for depositions to speed its lawsuit with the union trust that owns a 41.5 percent stake in Chrysler.

A five-day trial will start Sept. 29 and run through Oct. 3 in Wilmington, according to an order from Judge Donald Parsons. The United Auto Workers health-care trust had asked for a January, 2015, trial.

The UAW became Chrysler's second-largest shareholder when the automaker emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 and the union took a stake in place of future health-care payments. Known as VEBA, the health-care trust manages those benefits on behalf of the union.

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