Union Board Members Oppose Chrysler Breakup: Reports

CNBC.com with wire services
Monday, 19 Mar 2007 | 4:52 AM ET

Employee members of DaimlerChrysler's supervisory board plan to oppose a sale of Chrysler Group to a private equity firm that would lead to a breakup of the automaker, according to published reports.

Helmut Lense, one of the 10 employee representatives on DaimlerChrysler's 20-member supervisory board, told The Detroit News that he would prefer to see a manufacturing company, such as another automaker, take control of Chrysler in the event of a sale, the paper reported Saturday.

"We wouldn't support a solution such as a private equity firm that would cut out choice bits," said Lense, chief employee representative of a plant in Stuttgart that builds engines, suspensions and transmissions.

"We wouldn't support a sale to a private-equity investor," Gerd Rheude, a German labor union representative who holds a seat on DaimlerChrysler's board, told The Wall Street Journal Monday. "It's important for us that Chrysler won't be cut in pieces, but that we find a way of securing the jobs of our American colleagues."

The opposition comes as Cerberus Capital Management is bringing auto-industry veterans together to bolster its expected bid, the Journal said.

General Motors, Canadian auto parts maker Magna International and several private equity firms all reportedly have looked into buying all or part of Chrysler.

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