Cerberus Denies Chrysler Sell Off Claim

Cerberus has just issued, via Automotive News, a denial of the Financial Times' claims that it's just sold over half its stake in Chrysler.

"Cerberus has not sold any equity in Chrysler," said the Chrysler official speaking on condition of anonymity. "There are always co-investors at the time of the transactions so when they originally purchased 80.1 percent of Chrysler, there were co-investors at that time. They still own 80.1 percent."

The full release follows the jump.
DETROIT — A published report today saying Cerberus Capital Management LP has sold more than half its stake in Chrysler LLC is not accurate, a senior Chrysler official told Automotive News today. "Cerberus has not sold any equity in Chrysler," said the Chrysler official speaking on condition of anonymity. "There are always co-investors at the time of the transactions so when they originally purchased 80.1 percent of Chrysler, there were co-investors at that time. They still own 80.1 percent." The Chrysler official declined further comment, referring inquiries to Cerberus. A Cerberus official was not immediately available. The Financial Times reported today that Cerberus has sold "significantly" more than half of its stake in Chrysler and GMAC to a group of about 90 investors. The timing of those transactions was not clear. A spokesman for GMAC also could not be immediately reached for comment. Cerberus has faced troubles with both deals. Chrysler, like other major automakers, has been hurt by the sharp downturn in U.S. auto sales and the shift from higher-margin trucks to small cars. GMAC, meanwhile, has suffered from losses at its mortgage financing unit GMAC. The Financial Times said that although Cerberus invested $7.4 billion in both transactions, it has since sold the majority of the equity to other investors, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation. Cerberus earned fees of up to $1 billion for the sale of its holdings as it unloaded risk to other investors, the newspaper said. The newspaper said investors in the group that bought stakes in the automotive assets from Cerberus included Cerberus-controlled Aozora Bank of Japan, Avenue Capital, Cyrus Capital Partners, Franklin Templeton Investments and Oak Hill Advisors.