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27 Feb 2007

DaimlerChrysler Wary Of Possible Hedge Fund Takeover

DaimlerChrysler announced this month it was considering all options for Chrysler, including a split, but without Chrysler, the Daimler group could be more of a takeover target for hedge funds.

According to CNN Money, the likelihood of an unsolicited approach, such as a hedge fund takeover, was still low but had gone up to 20% from 10%.

One person familiar with the situation said Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber had routinely played down suggestions that hedge funds could team up to buy DaimlerChrysler because he felt such a wolf pack would be unable to agree on strategy and goals.

"But should it come to pass that Chrysler is split off from Daimler, then Daimler would be an interesting target," the source said. A complete split-up of the cars, trucks and vans businesses would then be "a real danger."

DaimlerChrysler declined comment on prospects for being acquired if it divests Chrysler but has said in the past the best defense against takeovers was good financial performance. The company has a market capitalization of $79 billion.

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