Investor Asher B. Edelman yesterday renewed his bid to acquire Fruehauf Corp., saying a partnership he heads plans a $44-a-share tender offer for the truck-trailer manufacturer.

Earlier this year, Fruehauf rejected proposals from the Edelman group to buy the company for $41 a share and, later, $42 a share.

The group already owns about 9.5 percent of Fruehauf's 23.8 million total common shares and equivalents outstanding. Under the new bid, the cost of buying the remaining stock would be $946.9 million.

In response to Edelman's announcement, Fruehauf's common stock jumped $6.62 1/2 a share to $44.62 1/2 -- a 52-week high -- in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock's advance above the Edelman group's offer indicated Wall Street was speculating that a still higher bid would surface.

Edelman, whose investment company is based in New York, said his new offer was conditioned on his group acquiring enough tendered shares that, together with the stock it already owns, would give it at least a controlling 51 percent of Detroit-based Fruehauf.

Fruehauf issued a terse statement late yesterday saying its directors would schedule a meeting "at the appropriate time" to consider the proposed tender offer. It did not elaborate.