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First Round Of Bids For Chrysler May Come Within Days-Reports

DaimlerChrysler shares were trading higher Tuesday following several media reports that said private-equity bids for Chrysler could come in as early as this Thursday.

One private-equity team - Blackstone Group and Centerbridge Partners - has assembled a group of banks that includes Lazard ,Lehman Brothers , and Bank of America, The Detroit News said, citing people familiar with the situation.

The German daily Handelsblatt carried a similar story, saying that bids may be submitted by the end of the week.

The Detroit News reported that the other main private-equity player, Cerberus Capital Management is said to have recruited Goldman Sachs to help finance an acquisition of DaimlerChrysler's U.S. division.

Besides Blackstone and Cerberus, the Canadian auto supplier Magna International has already submitted a provisional bid to acquire Chrysler for $4.7 billion, according to a source close to the Magna board of directors. However, Magna is said to be interested in only a minority stake in Chrysler, and is still looking for its own private-equity partner to help finance a buyout, the paper said.

General Motors hasn't budged from its opening position and is seen as unlikely to purchase Chrysler, according to a different report in the Detroit Free Press.

Bear Stearns released a research report Tuesday that concluded General Motors would probably face difficulty gaining approval from antitrust authorities because a merger of the two automakers would give the combined entity a highly concentrated position in light trucks, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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