Cerberus Is Back in the Fund Raising Market

Private equity-hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management is looking to raise money for a variety of funds.


Cerberus Capital Management is looking to raise money for a variety of funds. The private equity-hedge fund firm best known these days for its investments in Chrysler and GMAC, is trotting out a successor version of hedge funds Cerberus International and Cerberus Partners, which are currently in liquidation. Investors who receive proceeds for the old funds can roll them into the new ones. However, sources say a majority of investors are choosing to take the money.

Cerberus is also trotting out new loan funds that are successors to the firm’s Styx and Ableco products.

In addition, it is offering Cerberus Institutional Partners Series V, which is a successor to Cerberus Institutional Partners LP Series IV, which had raised $7.5 billion in 2006 and 2007, perhaps the worst time for private equity. Series IV is winding up its investment period in November, having been extended a year.

And finally, Cerberus is introducing a new mortgage backed securities fund. The hedge fund will mostly invest in liquid residential mortgages, sources say.

Keep in mind the firm made $2 billion in this market in 2009 and 2010 when the housing market started to recover, taking advantage of the dry powder and the long lockups in its private equity fund to do the trading.

Cerberus refused to comment.

Cerberus, named for the three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades, was founded in 1992 by Stephen Feinberg, a former distressed-debt trader at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Cerberus currently manages $22.2 billion, including $10.3 billion in private equity-distressed funds, $8.8 billion in liquid funds and $1.2 billion in real estate funds.

In 2007, Cerberus led a group that paid $7.4 billion for 80 percent of Chrysler. Cerberus did not put up all of the money. In 2006 it bought 51 percent of GMAC, also for $7.4 billion. Its stake in GMAC and Chrysler were reduced when the Federal Government provided emergency funding through its Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Since then, the U.S. auto business has improved. And sources say Cerberus hopes to recover most of its investment in Chrysler after Toronto-Dominion Bank closes its acquisition of Chrysler Financial, which it had agreed to buy for about $6.3 billion in cash.

It won’t be known how much it recovers from GMAC. However, Thursday’s announcement that Ally Financial, the former finance arm of General Motors is planning an initial public offering enables Cerberus to move closer to recovering more of its investment.

Meanwhile, Cerberus figures to make about $2 billion, or 27 times its investment made several years ago in Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings, a biopharma company that makes drugs from plasma, among other things. Grifols, a Spanish holding company specializing in the hospital-pharmaceutical sector, agreed to buy the company and the deal is currently awaiting Federal Trade Commission approval. It has already taken out a lot of money from dividend payments.