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"Stories of the Week"
May 15, 2007
Hoosier veep plays key role in acquirer of Chrysler
This is no joke -- Dan Quayle has a lot to do with the deal that's set to make Chrysler an American company again.
Quayle is chairman of global investments for Cerberus Capital Management, which agreed Monday to pay German automaker Daimler $7.4 billion for an 80.1 percent stake of Chrysler. Four years ago, Quayle founded an office in Frankfurt, Germany, for Cerberus, a $24 billion private equity firm that's 15
Quayle now lives in Phoenix, but remains a fixture in Indiana, which elected him to Congress and the Senate.
"I'll bet 99.9 percent of people around here have no idea what he's doing these days," said William Neale, a partner at Krieg DeVault who stays in touch with Quayle. "Somebody asks me what he's doing at least once a week."
Quayle was traveling Monday and unavailable for comment.
Neale goes way back with the family. He attended grade school with Quayle's wife, Marilyn, and has worked on all of his political campaigns. "Dan moved from politics to the business world without missing a beat," Neale said. "He's a very savvy businessman."
Whoa. That runs counter to the image that arose when Quayle was vice president. His verbal gaffes, including the infamous misspelling of potato, cemented a doofus image in the public eye.
The Cerberus announcement prompted others here to note that Quayle is nobody's fool.
Quayle "is only underestimated by a few," said Dan Evans, the chairman of Clarian Health who ran campaigns for him. "Most have learned he is a force to be reckoned with, especially on international deals."