Posted by: coastcontact | January 10, 2013

Cerberus: The Three-headed Dog in Greek Mythology


The ancient Greek pantheon is rife with symbolism. One such symbolic creature is Cerberus, the three-headed monstrous canine, the loyal servant and guardian of the Greek God of Death.  In the Greek mythical tradition, Cerberus is the guardian of the gates of the underworld, the realm of Hades. His job is to prevent the living from entering the land of the dead and to prevent the dead from escaping the boundaries of the underworld.
Read more at Buzzle:

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is an American private equity firm. The firm is based in New   York City, and run by financier Steve Feinberg, who co-founded Cerberus in 1992 with William L. Richter, who currently serves as a senior managing director. The firm has affiliate and/or advisory offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. [this information from Wikipedia]

Is this an odd name for an investment firm?  You decide!

According to Bloomberg News, the father of Cerberus chief executive Stephen Feinberg lives in Newtown, Conn. Cerberus said in its statement that it would “immediately” begin the process of selling off the assets of the Freedom Group (the manufacturer of the Bushmaster assualt weapon used in the Newtown massacre).

Cerberus is the company that owned Chrysler Corporation when it decalred banruptcy on April 30, 2009.

The Financial Times reported that after buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management bought a majority stake in GMAC and took that firm private, it later sold most of its exposure to a variety of other investors in order to reduce its own risk. Fair enough. But how did those other investors decide whether they wanted in on the deal?  According to several of them, a group of hedge-fund managers were invited to a private meeting with Cerberus, and most decided–rather quickly–to join in without making any true investigation of their own. “It was a ‘trust me’ kind of trade,” one investor who bought a small piece of GMAC told the Financial Times. “You had no time to do real due diligence. But it was a hot deal and everybody wanted in as part of the gang.” [this item found in a report]

And now Bloomberg News reports that Cerberus has agreed to acquire Supervalu’s Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market grocery stores in a transaction valued at about $3.3 billion.  Will these grocery chains be in business a year or two from now? The Cerberus track record is not encouraging.  The owners of this private equity fund may earn significant profits but at what cost?  Reduced competition and layoff of employees are the two possible consequences.

  Is this the job for the three headed dog?



  1. In a way, that is a perfect example of what has happened to our country. Thank you for new information, that i hadn’t heard about. Of course, they will ransack the company, i am sure they will take pensions, enforce wage cuts and in the end. leave with their pockets full and a failed business and new unemployed.

  2. You may be correct. My question is what are the three heads? Are we the mighty American empire with military bases (number 1), the kindly nation that wants to help the world (think our gifts and loans to nations around the world (number 2), and the nation that wants to help its own people whether its companies or people giving everyone a tax break to succeed (number 3). Or is there another set of missions?

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