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August 4, 2008

chrysler.jpgFresh from having announced the end of its leasing programs, Chrysler Financial’s credit line is shrinking. The 20 percent cut in its credit facilities to $24 billion makes plenty of sense, given their downsizing, and on Friday it said its lenders were happy with the move to drop leasing. But The Wall Street Journal says Chrysler couldn’t actually get the whole $30 billion. It also says the automaker is paying a far more chunky 1.1 to 2.25 percentage points over Libor on different parts of the funding, from 0.3 to 0.5 percentage point on its borrowings a year ago.

Labor issues are a whole lot more dangerous to a deal in Germany than most other Western economies. So when Volkswagen‘s senior labor leader says talks to agree on workers’ rights in Porsche‘s new holding company are in danger of collapse, it’s probably time to check the engine. Responding to accusations from his Porsche counterpart that VW labor was blocking a deal, Bernd Osterloh said Zuffenhausen-based Porsche aimed to create a two-class system in which 12,000 Porsche employees outranked VW’s massive workforce. “If the 360,000 men and women working in the Volkswagen Group were of the opinion that a labor contract has to be terminated, Porsche representatives in the holding’s works council could then prevent this, according to the plans in Zuffenhausen,” he said in comments sent to Reuters.

Other deals of the day:

* Australia’s biggest port and rail operator, Asciano, rejected an unsolicited private equity bid worth around A$2.9 billion ($2.7 billion), saying the offer undervalued its business.

* Dutch food group Nutreco said it bought premix and specialty food company Biofaktory for about 10 million euros ($15.77 million).

* HSBC said it was ready to submit an updated application to South Korean authorities on its bid for Korea Exchange Bank, while a regulatory official said HSBC had been in negotiations to cut the purchase price.

* Russia-focused oil company Imperial Energy said it has received another approach for a possible cash offer for the company.

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