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Carmaker mulling purchase?

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- DaimlerChrysler is reportedly talking about buying Volvo AB's remaining manufacturing operations, which include making trucks, buses and construction equipment.

The business daily Dagens Industri, citing unnamed sources, reported Wednesday that the German automaker is expected to bid between $17.7 billion and $18.9 billion for the remaining Volvo businesses, which also include marine and aerospace operations.That would be a hefty premium over Volvo's recent market value of about $12.4 billion.

But DaimlerChrysler spokesman Eckhard Zanger strongly denied the report. "We are not in talks and don't plan a merger with Volvo," he said.

Volvo spokesman Per Loejdkvist said he had no comment on the Dagens Industri report but added: "Everyone is talking to everyone."

Rumors about a sale of the remainder of Volvo have surfaced before and with buyers other than DaimlerChrysler.

Swedish-based Volvo sold its passenger car division to Ford for $6.45 billion last January.

The newspaper said DaimlerChrysler would be willing to pay a premium because it expects it could save $1.2 billion a year, and because Volvo has about $5.9 billion in cash after the Ford deal.

DaimlerChrysler's offer was expected to consist of stock, meaning Volvo's stockholders would become owners of 14 percent to 15 percent of the German automaker, the newspaper said.

The report said subsidiary headquarters -- tentatively called Mercedes Volvo Buses, Trucks & Heavy Equipment -- would likely be in Goteborg, Sweden.

If the reported deal occurs, Volvo was expected to sell its 22 percent stake in truck and bus manufacturer Scania.