Italian car giant Fiat recently brought to market the largest ever European securitization of auto loans. Called First Italian Auto Transaction, the E965 million ($917 million) deal was structured by Euro Capital Structures, the Dublin-based joint venture that was set up by Fiat and Italian bank Unicredito Italiano in May 1999. Merrill Lynch, Schroder Salomon Smith Barney and Unicredito were brought in to underwrite the deal.

The deal is backed by more than 350,000 loans originated to Italian customers by SAVA, Fiat's wholly owned car financing company that has a 25% share of the Italian autoloans market. The total value of the loans at the time of launch was just under E1.1 billion.

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