Automaker Fiat has said that its merger with US affiliate Chrysler will go ahead as most of its shareholders have chosen not to exercise an option that could have derailed it.

Chief executive Sergio Marchionne wants to incorporate the two firms into a Dutch-registered company christened Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), paving the way for a US floatation that will help pay for a grand investment plan.

But the plan could have been wrecked if Fiat had been forced to cough up over €500m ($657m, £399m) to investors who chose to offload their shares, exercising a legal right triggered by the company's decision to move its registered offices away from Italy.

Fiat said in a statement that shareholders opposing the deal had exercised exit rights for 60 million shares, equivalent to about €463.6m - just under the €500m threshold set by Fiat.

Those 60 million shares are equivalent to about 6.3% of Fiat's €9.5bn share capital.

Fiat also said that it expects the merger to be completed by mid-October 2014.

Fiat-VW Merger

In July, Fiat Chrysler denied a magazine report that said it was in merger talks with Volkswagen, while the German carmaker said there were "no M&A [merger and acquisition] projects on the agenda."

Marchionne has said that he prefers New York as the primary listing for the combined entity, which will also be traded on a second stock exchange.

Fiat gained full control of Chrysler in January 2014. The deal fulfilled Marchionne's dream to create a company of global scale to rival leading automakers Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen.