GM not only Chrysler suitor Cerberus Capital Management LP began entertaining offers for Chrysler less than a year after acquiring the smallest and most vulnerable of Detroit's automakers.
In recent months, as the industry's outlook has worsened, Cerberus officials have discussed deals involving Chrysler LLC with General Motors Corp. and with the Renault-Nissan alliance, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. They also have had contacts with Fiat SpA of Italy and India's Tata Motors, the sources said.
After news of the GM-Cerberus talks broke Friday, Chrysler Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli confirmed to employees Monday that the company was talking to potential partners.
"I can tell you that we have approached and have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities with Chrysler," he said in a note to employees.
Sources close to the negotiations say most of the discussions have been on hold since the recent turmoil in the financial markets.
Compared with the merger frenzy of the late 1990s, the tone of the talks is more cautious and guarded, the sources said. But some of them said Cerberus seemed eager to conclude a deal.
Delphi Corp. Chairman Robert S. Miller told The Detroit News on Monday that the talks between carmakers reflected the "serious financial pressures the industry is facing." More at Detroit News
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