Appaloosa Bid For Auto Parts Maker Strikes Trouble

Sep 25 2007 | 11:24am ET

Hedge fund Appaloosa Management is making a last-ditch bid for auto parts maker Dana Corp., but the United Auto Workers union isn’t cooperating.

On Friday, the Chatham, N.J.-based activist fund delivered its “Final Proposal” to Toledo, Ohio-based Dana and its creditors committee, seeking to derail the investment deal Dana has struck with private equity firm Centerbridge Capital Partners. But Appaloosa’s offer includes the stricture that no major strike should hit the industry—such as the UAW work stoppage that struck General Motors yesterday.

Appaloosa, the largest Dana shareholder with a 15% stake, has railed against the Centerbridge deal, which it claims is unduly injurious to current shareholders. In the letter, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today, Appaloosa called its deal “materially similar to, and an improvement upon, the Centerbridge Proposal.” But in its section on material differences between the proposals, the hedge fund notes that it “proposes to include an additional closing condition to the effect that there shall not have occurred any material strike or labor stoppage or slowdown at the Company, General Motors, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company or any of their respective subsidiaries.”

Calls to Appaloosa for comment were not returned by press time.

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