Cerberus Hires Former Chrysler COO On Acquisition Hopes

According to the Financial Times, Cerberus hired the former Chrysler executive to stand out among other DaimlerChrysler suitors.

NEW YORK (AP) – Private equity investment firm Cerberus Capital Management LLC buttressed its effort to buy Chrysler by hiring the automaker's former chief operating officer, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

Already considered one of the leading contenders to buy Chrysler from Stuttgart, Germany-based DaimlerChrysler AG, Cerberus signed Wolfgang Bernhard to a full-time job as an adviser, the Financial Times said.

Bernhard is credited with turning around Chrysler before departing five years ago to work for Volkswagen AG in a similar capacity. He resigned from that company in January.

Cerberus is competing with a group led by Blackstone Group and Centerbridge Partners to buy Chrysler, which lost $1.4 billion last year. Other contenders include private equity investors Apollo Management LP and Carlyle Group and Canadian auto parts maker Magna International.

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