One of the Big Three lay in jeopardy on Thursday night: After the New York Times reported that the Treasury Department was preparing Chrysler for chapter 11 bankruptcy, the troubled company's lenders started work on a new offer to forgive a portion of its debts. Earlier in the week, Chrysler's lenders—which include J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Cerberus—offered to forgive $2.5 billion of the $6.9 billion Chrysler owes them, but the Treasury nixed the deal due to steep shareholding demands, and instead offered Chryslers' debtors 22 cents on the dollar and a 5-percent equity stake in the reorganized company. The deal fell apart, but Reuters reports the lenders are now preparing a counter-offer. Complicating Chrysler's intricate choreography of bankruptcy-avoidance measures is Italian automaker Fiat, where plans for an alliance with Chrysler are in the works. According to The New York Times, Fiat plans to forge ahead regardless of Chrysler's bankruptcy status. The government's deadline on Chrysler's reorganization plan is April 30.
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