Monday, May 14, 2007

DaimlerChysler spins off Chrysler Group

Unless you've been under a rock for the last couple months - you knew that DaimlerChrysler was looking for a buyer for their Chrysler Group. GM, Canadian supplier Magna, and various private equity groups have all been rumored buyers.

Overnight, an announcement was made that Cerberus Capital Management will take a 80.1% stake, for $7.4 billion. The deal includes Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep, as well as Chrysler Financial.

As details have emerged, it has become clear that UAW contracts are expected to stay in force for the near term and no new layoffs (outside of those already announced) are expected, the 19.9% of ownership retained by Daimler AG (the new name of the German portion of the previous DaimlerChrysler) will allow the continuation of work between the new entities on clean diesel, 2-mode hybrids, etc.

Rumors abound that Chrysler Financial will, ultimately, be merged with GMAC (also controlled by Cerberus).

The new Chrysler Holdings LLC that will be formed will retain the health care and pension liabilities of Chrysler Group but will otherwise be debt-free.

The sale is expected to be complete in 3Q07.

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