DETROIT (Aug. 3) — Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management L.P. acquired 80.1-percent ownership of Chrysler Group today, ending a 9-year-old transatlantic merger that was supposed to change the auto industry.
Germany´s DaimlerChrysler A.G. retained 19.9-percent ownership. The deal was announced in May.
Citing "highly volatile U.S. credit markets," DaimlerChrysler said it would combine with Cerberus to loan Chrysler´s automotive business $2 billion. Of that, DaimlerChrysler will provide $1.5 billion and Cerberus $500 million.
A DaimlerChrysler statement said the loan is "a strong sign of its overall determination to make sure that, under the majority (ownership) of Cerberus, Chrysler has a good start as a successful stand-alone car company."
Tom LaSorda remains CEO of Chrysler. Bodo Uebber takes over purchasing for DaimlerChrysler, as LaSorda, Eric Ridenour and Tom Sidlik leave the German company´s board of management.
Chrysler officials plan a celebration Aug. 6 at the firm´s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., to mark the change. A 15-story blue "Get Ready" banner was raised on the headquarters building on Aug. 2.
DaimlerChrysler will continue to be known as DaimlerChrysler officially until a shareholders meeting Oct. 4 in Stuttgart, Germany.