REPORT: DaimlerChrysler, diesel unit founders near deal
The Handelsblatt daily quoted Count Albrecht von Brandenstein-Zeppelin, a prominent figure from the families, as saying the clans had "rowed back" and that a mutually agreed accord was within reach.
The count could not be reached for comment, although he told Reuters earlier this week that he was confident that "we will have an understanding and a good solution".
The issue comes to a head later on Thursday when MTU Friedrichshafen holds an extraordinary shareholders meeting.
Sources familiar with the situation have told Reuters that Daimler planned to restructure MTU's operations at the meeting by handing over MTU assets to a new business structure that could be auctioned off.
It had the 75 percent of the votes needed to make such a move, but family members have thus far refused to go along.
Andreas Renschler, the head of DaimlerChrysler's commercial vehicles business, declined comment at a news conference in Stuttgart, telling reporters to await the outcome of the meeting.
"We have always said we wanted a competitive situation for the sale and that is still our position," he said.
Stuttgart-based Daimler has been trying to sell the unit, in which it holds 88 percent, for several months.
The German Brandenstein-Zeppelin and Schmid-Maybach families, who own 12 percent of MTU, have veto rights over any deal and had reached an exclusivity agreement with private equity investor Carlyle.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has appealed to the unit's owners to find an industrial buyer.