PARIS - Sommer-Allibert may sell out to French supplier rivals Faurecia or Valeo.
Shares in the cockpit and door modules specialist soared last week on buyout speculation.
'If Sommer-Allibert is for sale, we will consider it,' said a Faurecia source. Valeo needs a partner to develop its cockpit business.
Canada's Magna International and Lear and Delphi of the USA are also considered possible bidders.
Sommer-Allibert denies its for sale, but industry analysts believe a deal is close. 'A solution is very near,' said Gaetan Toulemonde, auto analyst at Deutsche Bank in Paris.
Speculation intensified last week when US investment fund Wyser-Pratte & Co. lifted its stake in Sommer-Allibert to more than 5 percent.
'When Wyser-Pratte comes in, it means there is something to win,' said another analyst.
A French newspaper reported that Sommer-Allibert's supervisory board has endorsed the sale.
'If Valeo makes the deal, Valeo and Faurecia could merge next year to consolidate all their vehicle interior business,' said Toulemonde.
Sommer-Allibert's SAI Automotive AG unit reported 1999 sales of E2.1 billion worldwide. SAI's main businesses are cockpit modules, door modules, carpets and acoustic modules, and bumpers.