Chrysler buyout meetings reported

But Kerkorian group not on the schedule despite announced $4.5 billion bid for Daimler unit.

NEW YORK ( -- A top DaimlerChrysler official is expected to meet this week with would-be buyers of the Chrysler group - although not with announced bidder Tracinda Corp., the investment company of Kirk Kerkorian, according to a report published online.

The Wall Street Journal's online edition, in a story dated Wednesday, said Daimler (Charts) strategy chief and board member Rudiger Grube will meet in New York with representatives from three groups of reported bidders. They are Blackstone Group and Centerbridge Capital Partners, Cerberus Capital Management, and auto parts maker Magna International (Charts) and Ripplewood Holdings.

The Journal, cuting people familiar with the situation, said Tracinda - which last week announced a $4.5 billion bid for Chrysler - is not on Grube's appointment list.

It said Daimler believes Tracinda is behind in the bidding process, although other people cited by the Journal say Tracinda representative Jerome York contacted Daimler's investment bank nine days after Daimler said it was considering bids for Chrysler.

Kerkorian was once the largest shareholder in Chrysler, and has clashed with the company's management over whether a higher premium should have been paid in the 1998 deal that merged Germany's Daimler and the American company.


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