Done deal: Cerberus takes control of Chrysler today

August 3, 2007. Today is the day that Cerberus Capital Management LP takes an 80.1% controlling stake in Chrysler, leaving DaimlerChrysler a minority 19.9% share. The "merger of equals" that took place back in 1998 has officially ended, and Chrysler is now a privately-held company with a wide open future. Much ado was made about the difficulty in financing the deal and Chrysler's turnaround effort, but it appears the original amount of $12 billion has been secured. Around $10 billion will come from investment banks, while Cerberus will throw in $500 million and DaimlerChrysler $1.5 billion. That combination of cash shows that the soon-to-be-former DaimlerChrysler still has a vested interest in seeing Chrysler succeed. Speaking of soon-to-be, DaimlerChrysler will be christened with a new name sans any mention of Chrysler on October 4th during a shareholders meetings. The newly minted Chrysler Corp., meanwhile, is planning a big party for this Monday, August 6th, at its Auburn Hills, MI headquarters. Automotive News reports a 15-story banner that reads "Get Read" was installed there yesterday.
Check out the full press release from DCX after the jump.

[Source: DaimlerChrysler]


DaimlerChrysler Closes Transaction on Transfer of Majority Interest in Chrysler to Cerberus

-- Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG and Head of Mercedes Car Group: "Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company."

-- Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting to decide on change of name on October 4, 2007

STUTTGART, Germany -- DaimlerChrysler today completed the closing for the transfer of a majority interest in the Chrysler Group and for the related financial services business in NAFTA to a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., a private- equity company based in New York. A subsidiary of Cerberus takes over 80.1% in the Chrysler Holding LLC, while DaimlerChrysler retains a 19.9% interest, as announced in May 2007.

The effects on the financial statements of DaimlerChrysler will be explained on August 29, 2007.

Basically, the conditions of the transaction and the economic effects have not changed since the agreement was signed on May 14, 2007. Furthermore, DaimlerChrysler and Cerberus have agreed to support the financing of the majority takeover of Chrysler by Cerberus in light of highly volatile US loan markets. Both companies will subscribe $2 billion of second lien debt for Chrysler's automotive business, to be drawn within 12 months. DaimlerChrysler's portion will be $1.5 billion. The debt will be priced at market conditions. One year after the closing, DaimlerChrysler has the right to sell this loan in the credit market. The maturity of this loan is 7 years.

DaimlerChrysler's financing support is a strong sign of its overall determination to make sure that, under the majority of Cerberus, Chrysler has a good start as a successful stand-alone car company.

As of today, the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG is reduced to six members: Tom LaSorda, Eric Ridenour and Tom Sidlik are no longer members. Within the Board of Management, Bodo Uebber additionally assumes responsibility for procurement.

Due to the new corporate structure, DaimlerChrysler AG is to be renamed as Daimler AG. The shareholders are to decide on this change at an Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting in Berlin on October 4, 2007.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG and Head of the Mercedes Car Group: "Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company. Based on the clearly defined strategies in our Mercedes Car Group, Truck Group, Financial Services business divisions and for vans and buses, and our company's healthy balance sheet, we have every reason to move confidently into the future."

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