Private equity company BLACKSTONE has been named as a front-runner in the race to acquire Chrysler.

The Detroit News reported that Blackstone is in the process of preparing a detailed bid for the company.

Cerberus Capital Management has also reportedly expressed an interest in the company.

DaimlerChrysler announced a restructuring plan for Chrysler in the middle of February. It is planning to cut annual output and lose 13,000 jobs. At the time of the announcement executives said they would not rule out finding a partner for Chrysler, and this has sent the share price soaring, meaning that the sale of Chrysler is now almost certain to happen.

Several other companies have expressed an interest in acquiring Chrysler or have been rumoured to be interested. One of the most interesting potential owners is Tier 0.5 supplier Magna International, of Canada, while GM has formed a working group to study a possible purchase or alliance with Chrysler.

Others rumoured to be interested include China’s FAW and Russia’s GAZ, while Renault-Nissan, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Fiat and China’s SAIC have all denied any interest in acquiring the US manufacturer.