Cerberus May Cut 10% of Workforce

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, majority owner of automaker Chrysler LLC, may cut about 10 percent of its worldwide staff, a source familiar with the situation said on Monday.

The news was reported earlier by Financial News, citing people familiar with the situation.

It follows similar cuts by rival private equity firms, including 3i Group Plc (III.L), Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), The Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] and American Capital Ltd (ACAS.O).

Cerberus is headquartered in New York City with either affiliate or advisory offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Baarn, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Osaka, Taipei and Dubai, according to its Web site. The company has more than 275 investment and operations professionals according to past press releases.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on market rumors or speculation,” Cerberus said in a statement on Monday. “Cerberus, like every responsible business, is constantly evaluating its cost structure to ensure alignment with the available market opportunities.”

“In today’s challenging economic environment, we, like many other private investment firms, are considering a variety of options,” Cerberus said. “Any action we take will, of course, be consistent with the best interests of our investors.”

Cerberus has an 80 percent stake in troubled automaker Chrysler and a 51 percent stake in GMAC.

London-based 3i Group Plc has said it is reducing headcount by about 100 people, while American Capital is cutting 110 positions. Carlyle is cutting about 100 jobs and Blackstone about 70, sources previously told Reuters.

By Megan Davies
(Additional reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Diane Craft)