The Detroit News is reporting that a group of 25 Chrysler employees in Toledo have formed a group called the “Employee Buyout Committee” and are actively exploring the necessary steps required to see the fate of Chrysler end up in the hands of its employees. Their proposal would give Chrysler employees a 70% stake in the automaker, with DaimlerChrysler retaining the remaining 30%.
The group appears to be making all the right moves so far, having submitted its proposal first to the UAW, whose legal department is now evaluating the proposition. The employee buyout plan was also mentioned at DaimlerChrysler’s annual shareholder meeting in Berlin on April, 4. The committee’s apparent spokesperson, Michele Mauder, has also sent the proposal to Chrysler Gropu CEO and DaimlerChrysler CEO Deiter Zetsch, humbly requesting the employee’s bid at least be given equal consideration with bids from private equity firms like Cerberus Capital Management and Blackstone Group, as well as Canadian parts supplier Magna. A Chrysler spokesperson has also commented that the proposal is expected to be reviewed by the automaker’s legal department.
If allowing Chrysler’s own 50,000 UAW employees to own the automaker doesn’t happen, the UAW has expressed that it would much rather thow its hat in the ring with Canadian parts supplier Magna than any of the private equity firms that have offers on the table. While the employee buyout plan is a long shot, and if successful, an incredible risk for the employees, it’s also inspiring that a group of workers would be the masters of their own fate. Unfortunately, it’s not yet known how much the employees could offer for a 70% stake in their employer, which, in the end, is likely DaimlerChrysler’s number one consideration in this sale.
[Source: The Detroit News]