As 4,312 hourly Chrysler workers in Canada and the US accepted early retirement and buyout plans, Kirk Kerkorian released a statement again asserting his desire for a "true partnership" with the UAW and Chrysler management that would entail "equal sharing in the 'risks and rewards'" of a sale to his company, Tracinda. While acknowledging that a successful purchase by Tracinda couldn't (or at least, shouldn't) happen without all parties involved welcoming the deal, Kerkorian calls his plan for the company a "transformation" and claims that it takes everyone's best interests into account.

As expected, his public jump into the foray has flushed more details out from other bidders. Magna International, the parts supplier, had apparently registered a bid of $4.7 billion, and according to UAW President Ron Gettelfinger the other bidders have already approached the UAW about equity partnership. The UAW has not yet talked to Tracinda, and he made no comment about whether the union even wants to be an equity partner. With respect to all of the bidders, it is unclear how much the union would be expected to give up in wages and health care in return for just how many board seats and just much equity ownership. With new labor contract negotiations coming up, the UAW has quite a number of possible outcomes to consider.

DaimlerChrysler and its investment adviser, J.P. Morgan, will open deeper discussions with bidders next week.

[Source: Detroit News]


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