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GM's board cool to idea of Chrysler merger

The board of General Motors Corp gave a cool reception to the idea of acquiring Chrysler LLC after GM's top management discussed the matter at a meeting last week, The Wall Street Journal said.

Chrysler's majority owner, Cerberus Capital Management, has been in talks with GM about swapping Chrysler's auto operations for GM's 49% stake in finance arm GMAC, sources briefed on the matter have told Reuters. Cerberus owns the other 51% in GMAC.

The idea of acquiring Chrysler was discussed at a formal GM board meeting last week, The Journal said on its Website, citing people familiar with the matter. The board also held a call on Friday, the report said.

GM has had preliminary talks with both Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC in recent months about the potential for mergers, people familiar with the talks have said, as the punishing downturn in auto sales forces all three companies to rethink their businesses.

GM's talks with Ford broke off, and Chrysler's negotiations got hung up on the question of how much value the automaker had lost while owned by private equity fund Cerberus Capital.

Cerberus owns an 81% stake in Chrysler and is in talks with German automaker Daimler AG to buy out the remaining 19%. (Reuters)