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Decision on Chrysler sale may come next week

From autonews| April 04,2007

A decision on a sale of the Chrysler group could be reached next week, a German magazine reported today.

According to the online edition of Wirtschaftswoche the company's head of strategy, Ruediger Grube, is set to meet with potential buyers early next week and may sign a contract for a sale.

Four or five parties are interested in making a serious offer or already have done so, the magazine reported without citing sources.

A sale to private equity firms, however, is becoming more unlikely, it said.

The magazine also reported that the company wants to keep a stake of 10 to 20 percent in Chrysler.

DaimlerChrysler will hold its annual shareholder's meeting on Wednesday, April 4, but the fate of Chrysler has not been put on the official agenda.

The two carmakers merged in 1998.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that private equity group Cerberus Capital Management, buyout firm The Blackstone Group and Canadian car parts group Magna International Inc. were front-runners to acquire Chrysler for a price tag that could top $5 billion.

One source said last week that General Motors was unlikely to make a first-round bid for Chrysler and would instead monitor the situation with an eye on buying any assets that the new owner might want to divest.

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