PE Exec Aids UAW on GM/Chrysler Deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stephen Girsky, a veteran auto-industry analyst and private equity executive, is working with the United Auto Workers union with regards to any potential General Motors Corp (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chrysler LLC deal, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

Girsky is president of Centerbridge Industrial Partners, LLC., the industrial unit of private equity firm Centerbridge Partners.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Sunday that the union recently retained Girsky to help “level the playing field” in any discussions about changes in its current contract that could be needed in a tie-up of the two auto makers.

Girsky is expected to help UAW President Ron Gettelfinger evaluate the deal and shape the union’s strategy, the WSJ said, citing sources.

Sources told Reuters last week that a deal to merge General Motors and Chrysler LLC hit an impasse after the Bush administration ruled out funding for it.

Advisers on Cerberus’ side are JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Citi (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and on the GM side are Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Evercore (EVR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a person familiar with the talks previously told Reuters.

Centerbridge and the UAW were not immediately available for comment.

By Megan Davies
(Additional reporting by Jui Chakravorty-Das and Kevin Krolicki; Editing by Lincoln Feast)