“Daimler confirms that it is in talks with Cerberus Capital Management on selling its 19.9-percent holding in Chrysler LLC,” Daimler said in a statement. The manufacturer was reacting to a report in Manager Magazin and the specialised publication Automobilwoche.
Automobilwoche, citing a Daimler spokesman in New York, said talks between the parties were in an advanced stage and could be completed in the coming weeks.
Chrysler responded with a statement saying that it the talks were initiated by Cerebus and that the two companies “are currently in discussions.”
“In the event of a successful transaction, common projects between Daimler and Chrysler in the areas of research and development and advanced technologies would continue,” the Chrysler statement added.
Daimler, previously known as DaimlerChrysler, sold its majority stake in Chrysler to Cerberus in August 2007 after a troubled nine-year marriage. The cost of the sale knocked €2.2 billion off Daimler’s 2007 results and the German automaker said its remaining stake in Chrysler resulted in a loss of €864 million in the first half of 2008.
Chrysler has seen a sharp decline in sales in recent months amid an economic slowdown in its home market and a shift away from its lineup of gasoline guzzling trucks and sport utility vehicles.
The now-private company has lost $400 million so far this year after posting a $1.6-billion loss in 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing dealers who were briefed by Chrysler Chief Executive Robert Nardelli.
Chrysler officials have repeatedly denied speculation that Cerberus was prepping the automaker for sale and the automaker on Tuesday made a commitment to ramp up production of electric vehicles and bring its first mass market model to market in 2010.