BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - EU regulators on Tuesday cleared Cerberus Capital Management to buy most of the money-losing Chrysler car division from its German parent DaimlerChrysler AG.
The European Commission approved the deal automatically after receiving no complaints from rivals and identifying no antitrust problems within a deadline of 25 working days. It was the last major regulatory approval needed for the US$7.4 billion (euro5.5 billion) deal after U.S. regulators waved it through last month.
DaimlerChrysler—the maker of Mercedes luxury cars—agreed in May to transfer an 80.1 percent stake in its U.S.-based Chrysler unit to New York-based Cerberus.
As part of the deal, Cerberus agreed to invest US$6.1 billion (euro4.5 billion) in Chrysler and its financing arm and to pay DaimlerChrysler US$1.4 billion (euro1.04 billion).
DaimlerChrysler would remain liable for certain expenses that could result in it paying Cerberus up to US$1.5 billion (euro1.12 billion) to complete the transaction.
Cerberus, however, has agreed to take on US$19 billion (euro14.2 billion) of the auto company's long-term retiree health care costs.
The Chrysler purchase expands Cerberus' automotive holdings, which include a 51 percent stake in GMAC Financial Services. It also owns Guilford Mills, the largest automotive seating supplier in the U.S., and Peguform Group, a German-based manufacturer of interior and exterior plastic parts used in autos.