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Kerkorian weighs in on Chrysler

US auto billionaire Kirk Kerkorian emerges as a third bidder for the Chrysler Group

Chrysler logo12 Apr 2007

By TERRY MARTIN

US BILLIONAIRE Kirk Kerkorian emerged as the new front-runner in ongoing negotiations to purchase the Chrysler Group when his investment arm Tracinda Corporation made a $US4.5 billion cash offer to DaimlerChrysler last week.

The offer is believed to be lower than a competing bid from Canadian car-parts supplier Magna International (worth an estimated $US4.7 billion), however, Mr Kerkorian – who failed in his quest to purchase Chrysler in 1995, prior to its merger with Daimler-Benz – has also offered an appealing ownership stake with the United Auto Workers union.

"The economics of the automotive industry have become brutal, particularly in Chrysler’s principal market, North America," Tracinda said in a statement.

"Consequently, we believe the only realistic plan for Chrysler is one in which all the parties share equitably."At least two other private equity groups also remain in negotiations with DaimlerChrysler.

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