Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cerberus Wants to Buy Blackwater

Lawyers, Guns and Money
(Special Thanks to Warren Zevon)

Hedge Fund Cerberus in Talks to Buy Blackwater

Somebody has to guard the gates of Hades…

The General Motors Corporation announced today that they have really, really taken it up the keister, posting a $3.3 billion loss in the first quarter. In another announcement today, the same company that holds a controlling interest in GMAC, Cerberus is rumored to be in talks with Blackwater to invest $200 million for a stake in the controversial private security firm.

What would a private equity hedge fund like Cerberus that has controlling interests in Chrysler and GMAC want it’s very own mercenary, private security firm “which has been accused of tax fraud, improper use of force, arms trafficking and overbilling connected to its work for the U.S. government in Iraq” for?

Now that Cerberus has picked up controlling interests in automobile manufacurers like Chrysler and GM, The film Children of Men might provide a sneak-peek into the future of what a corporate owned and armed global one world looks like when the holy mantra of profits before people rules with plenty of guns and ammo and Humvees and SUVS and pick-up trucks to control the gates of Hades Cerberus is also heavily invested in Firearms and Transportation, specifically bus companies like Coach America and American Coach Lines, which were acquired from Stagecoach Group.

A source close to the negotiations between New York headquartered Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. and Blackwater said that Cerberus could invest $200 M in the private security firm. Additional sources said “auditors from Cerberus had been examining Blackwater's books since the beginning of the year.” Although a close source says there is no deal yet, there might be one in the future and “negotiations about a possible investment into Blackwater are ongoing.”

A grand jury, federal prosecutors and congressional investigators are all currently probing allegations against Blackwater but so far, Cerberus has not ruled out the possibility of adding Blackwater to its portfolio of investments anyway. According to the “reclusive founder” of Cerberus, Stephen Feinberg, who “reportedly told his investors in a letter earlier this year that he hated all the attention the company was getting” by doing their best to “avoid the spotlight.” Feinberg continued “but unfortunately, when you do some large deals, such as Chrysler and GMAC, it is hard to avoid." Why the desire for all this secrecy?

Will Cerberus ruin yet "another round of peoples lives?" According to one commenter, "since buying GMAC they have trimmed it to bare bones and put thousands on the unemployment rolls by outsourcing many jobs overseas." And when it comes to this country's employment and economy, so far, hedge funds don't look so great for citizens of this country.

Not to worry. According to the Cerberus website, ethics is something the hedge fund trumpets, and look at wonderful ways they improved the lives of all of those GM employees...

“We hold ourselves and all of our portfolio companies and management teams to the highest ethical standards and business practices. Cerberus believes that strong corporate governance is the cornerstone of our business.”



Citizen Carrie said...

Don't you just love this cozy-cuddly world of "I'll help you make a quick profit if you'll help me make a quick profit?" Wouldn't it be nice to see one entity buy out another one in order to make money by delivering a superior product or service?

2Truthy said...

Strictly speaking, I suppose it doesn't matter at all where a hedge fund decides to park a bunch of money for profit... but the idea of one known for investing in Firearms and Transportations segments known for slashing and burning thousands of jobs that now wants to buy the world's most notorious private, security firm makes you think of the Wild West days of guarding the stagecoaches and dusty trails, etc.

2Truthy said...

Cerberus sounds like