Cerberus was the mythological 3-headed dog that guarded the gates of Hades. Cerberus Capital Management is the very real private equity firm -- one of the bidders in play for the Chrysler Group -- that guards the privacy of its dealings almost as jealously. USA Today takes a look at the firm and reveals a company with a "fierce reputation" and "a combative, take-no-prisoners style."
The list of companies that are either owned by Cerberus or which the company has majority stakes include: Alamo and National rental car, Fila, Blue Bird yellow buses, Rafaella clothing, GMAC, auto suppliers CTA Acoustics and GDX Automotive, banks, mortgage companies, and property managers. It has also made a multi-billion-dollar investment bid for Delphi, and bankrupt supplier Tower Automotive is looking at selling its assets to Cerberus for $1 billion.
If it bought Chrylser, Cerberus would instantly double its annual revenue, but revenue isn't the prime concern for private equity firms -- return on investment is. The issue is that no one knows how Cerberus would go about increasing return from Chrysler. The team of auto insiders working with Cerberus include a couple of powerful former Ford execs, and former Chrysler COO and VW exec Wolfgang Bernhard. Yet the article also states that the UAW and the Canadian Auto Workers have publicly opposed the sale of Chrysler "to Cerberus or any other private equity group," even though Cerberus is "known for its lengthy roster of highly successful turnaround and industry managers."
[Source: USA Today]