The company's financing plan for the CNH merger included raising $2 billion of new equity through a public offering. In anticipation of this, a subsidiary of Fiat SpA advanced $1.4 billion in merger financing that would convert into shares of CNH common stock at the earlier of a planned equity offering or June 30, 2000. However, the company has determined that it will not undertake a public offering under current market conditions and at present share price levels. Therefore, under terms of the original agreement, the advance to capital will convert automatically into shares of CNH common stock as of June 30, 2000.

"We are pleased to allow our shareholders equal opportunity to add to their holdings at this price level," said Jean-Pierre Rosso, CNH chairman and chief executive officer.

Under the share rights offering, CNH shareholders of record as of June 30, 2000, will have the right to purchase shares of CNH common stock at a price and at an amount that will be determined by the advance to capital conversion. This price will be determined by averaging the daily closing prices (after excluding the highest and lowest prices) of CNH stock on the New York Stock Exchange for the 20 trading days preceding June 30, 2000. Shareholders will be able to purchase additional shares at a ratio that maintains their ownership position relative to Fiat after the advance to capital conversion.

The subscription period during which shareholders can purchase shares will extend from July 3 to August 4, 2000. The rights will be issued to shareholders of record on June 30, 2000 and are non-transferable. Any unexercised rights will expire as of 5 p.m. (U.S. EDT) on August 4, 2000.

With strong global brands, CNH is a leader in the agricultural equipment, construction equipment and financial services industries and had combined 1999 revenues of approximately $11 billion. CNH sells its products in 160 markets through a network of more than 10,000 dealers and distributors. CNH products are sold under the following brands: Case, Case IH, Fermec, Fiatallis, Fiat-Hitachi, Link-Belt (earth-moving equipment), New Holland, O&K and Steyr.