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Published: Friday, 4/24/2009

Chrysler lenders make counteroffer, source says


NEW YORK A person familiar with the matter says Chrysler s lenders have delivered another counteroffer to the Treasury Department as the two sides continue to haggle over Chrysler s debt.

The offer was delivered Friday, but the terms were not immediately available. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are private.

Earlier this week, the Treasury Department asked the lenders to forgive $5.4 billion of the $6.9 billion in debt in exchange for a 5 percent stake in the company. The lenders had been seeking nearly a 40 percent stake to forgive just $2.5 billion.

Besides cutting labor costs and slashing debt, Chrysler must finalize a partnership with Italian automaker Fiat by the end of the month, or the Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker faces bankruptcy.

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