"We worked very hard to keep this company out of bankruptcy," one official said on a conference call with reporters. However, not all of Chrysler's secured creditors were on board with the agreement. "With reluctance, we've made the decision to go through with this surgical bankruptcy process."
Under the terms of the arrangement, Chrysler will be placed in a "quick rinse" bankruptcy, which officials expect to last about 30 to 60 days. The government will provide $3 billion to $3.5 billion so-called "debtor in possession" financing to keep the company running, and another $4.5 billion in exit financing. In addition, the Canadian government will provide $1 for every $3 of U.S. taxpayer money on the line.
The government is also replacing Chrysler's board, but it is not yet clear who the replacements will be. Officials said Chrysler Financial, the company's captive financing arm, didn't have the resources to support a restructuring. Instead, GMAC will be the company's new financing source, with support from the U.S. government. Italian automaker Fiat will engage in a partnership agreement with the company.