Despite rumors to the contrary, Fools don't necessarily rush in where angels fear to tread.

Granted, the dividend yields on the Big Three automakers are starting to look awfully tempting. Ford (NYSE:F) is paying 4.1% to its owners. DaimlerChrysler (NYSE:DCX) antes up 4.7% every year. General Motors (NYSE:GM) will pay a whopping 7.5% to any investors brave enough to risk their capital on it. Even so, you don't see the Fool's Income Investor-in-chief, Mathew Emmert, advocating investing in any of these companies. And Inside Value-investing guru Philip Durell remains strangely silent on whether Wall Street is overreacting to the bad news flowing forth from Detroit.

That said, somebody does seem to be finding the valuations compelling -- at least for Daimler. Over in merry ol' England, the venerable Financial Timesreports that one or more private equity funds have made repeated overtures to several of Daimler's major stakeholders. In particular, Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), which owns more than 10% of Daimler's stock, and the Kuwait Investment Authority, which owns another 7%, have both been approached by what, in the 1980s, we would have referred to as "LBO firms" -- privately owned companies whose stock-in-trade is buying troubled companies on the cheap, breaking them up into their constituent parts, and selling off said parts for a profit.

According to the Financial Times, to date, all of the buyout inquiries have been politely rebuffed. And, in all honesty, it doesn't take much more than a glance at Daimler's recent stock chart to recognize that the market isn't giving good odds on Daimler's getting bought out anytime soon. It would take an enormous amount of financial heft to pull off such an acquisition, because buying Daimler would involve more than just anteing up 40-odd billion dollars; it would also require assuming nearly $100 billion in debt, plus paying a premium for control.

The reluctance of Daimler's owners to even consider a buyout offer suggests that they viewed any bids being bandied about as woefully inadequate. And since you have to assume the bids offered at least some premium, the likelihood is that any buyout offer would have to be truly rich indeed -- probably close to $200 billion -- to win over Daimler's shareholders.

The implications for Foolish investors, therefore, appear twain: On the one hand, Daimler is quite likely selling at a sizeable discount to its intrinsic value -- otherwise, the strategic owners would have at least sat down to discuss the offers at length. But on the other hand, the chance that that value will be realized in an acquisition, a la MCI's imminent absorption into either Qwest (NYSE:Q) or Verizon (NYSE:VZ), appears slim.

Interested in dividends? Give Motley Fool Income Investor a try today -- free.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.