DETROIT (AP) — Several big banks are in talks to buy a stake in Chrysler Financial, the automaker's old lending arm, a person briefed on the matter said Tuesday.
The banks are interested in acquiring Chrysler Financial's substantial pool of car loans and leases because their value has increased as used car values and the economy have recovered, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private and in the preliminary stages.
The person would not identify which banks are interested in Chrysler Financial. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News reported this week that ING Group and Toronto-Dominion Bank are among the banks.
A Toronto-Dominion Bank spokesman would not comment, and messages were left with ING and Chrysler Financial.
Chrysler Financial is now owned by New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, which acquired the lender when it bought most of the automaker for $7.4 billion in 2007. Cerberus lost control of Chrysler when the automaker nearly ran out of cash and faced liquidation in 2008. The automaker was saved by a U.S. government bailout. It went through bankruptcy protection last year, and the government turned control over to Italy's Fiat SpA. Cerberus, however, kept ownership of Chrysler Financial.
Chrysler Financial was once the exclusive lender for Chrysler dealerships, and it still holds loans made to dealers to buy real estate.