FRANKFURT -- DaimlerChrysler brought German industrial group MAN back into the auction for Daimler's heavy diesel motor business after having rebuffed MAN's original offer, MAN said on Wednesday.
"We did not drop out (of the auction) but DaimlerChrysler informed us that our indicative price offer was too low and thus they informed us we had exited the process," CFO Ferdinand Graf von Ballestrem told a conference call of the events of mid-October.
"We got word on Monday that DaimlerChrysler is ready to negotiate further with us. Our approach is absolutely unchanged. If the door opens for further negotiations then you can imagine that we are ready to go through the door, but we'll have to see what happens," he added.
He refused to be drawn on what price MAN might be willing to pay for the operations, which he acknowledged made a good strategic fit.
He said only it would pay a price that would ensure an appropriate return for shareholders, adding MAN would know more after finishing due diligence.
A source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Tuesday, Nov. 1, that buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and its partner Dubai International Capital were front runners to buy the units for about 1.7 billion euros. Buyout firm EQT is also bidding.
The group of businesses being auctioned includes heavy diesel engine business MTU Friedrichshafen as well as Detroit Diesel's off-highway unit.
The divestment is seen as a key part of Daimler's plans to finance planned job reductions via voluntary redundancies -- costing 950 million euros -- at its Mercedes Car Group division in Germany, where it wants to cut up to 8,500 jobs.
Daimler has said MAN came back into the process to ensure the auction remained competitive with three bidders.