Cerberus in talks for Daimler’s Chrysler stake

Any potential deal would preserve existing industrial relationships between Daimler and Chrysler, according to the New York-based private equity firm.

Cerberus Capital Management is in discussions with German automaker Daimler to buy the company’s remaining 19.9 percent stake in struggling US automaker Chrysler. The deal would give Cerberus 100 percent ownership of Chrysler.

Cerberus did not disclose financial terms or a timeline for any potential transaction.

“We are currently in discussions. In the event of a successful transaction, all existing industrial relationships between Daimler and Chrysler would continue,” Cerberus said in a statement. A spokesman declined further comment.

The New York-based private equity firm bought an 80.1 percent majority stake in Chrysler in 2007 for $7.4 billion. Daimler, the world’s second largest maker of luxury cars, bought Chrysler in 1998 for $36 billion, creating DaimlerChyrsler.

Since Cerberus made its investment the automaker has struggled, reportedly losing $1.6 billion in 2007 and seeing US sales dip 24 percent since August. Cerberus has said it would eliminate 28,000 jobs at Chrysler and has sold $500 million-worth of the company's assets.