The Detroit Free Press is reporting via the Financial Times that Cerberus Capital Management has sold more than 50% of its stake in Chrysler LLC and GMAC LLC to a group of around 90 investors. The Freep reports that the investment firm earned up to $1 billion for selling parts of its stake in both companies. Cerberus bought a controlling stake in GM's financial unit back in April of 2006 for $14 billion and bought up Chrysler from Daimler in May of 2007 for $7.4 billion.
Automotive News actually got in touch with a senior Chrysler official today, however, who said bluntly, "Cerberus has not sold any equity in Chrysler." What may be causing the confusion is that when Cerberus bought up 80.1% of Chrysler, it had already aligned itself with co-investors. These 90 investors may have been involved in the transaction from the beginning and own a stake in Cerberus' stake of Chrysler and GMAC. The $1 billion, meanwhile, would then be what Cerberus earned in fees for bringing on the additional investors.
There's clearly a lot of confusion this morning surrounding the Financial Times report and not until Cerberus speaks will we be able to ascertain the nugget of truth amidst all the conjecture.
[Source: The Detroit Free Press, Automotive News]