Dana climbing out of bankruptcy hole

TOLEDO — Nearly two years after filing for Chapter 11, truck and car parts maker Dana Corp. announced it has obtained fully underwritten commitments for a $2 billion exit financing strategy that the company says ensures it will emerge from bankruptcy by the end of January 2008, or earlier.

The exit facility will be underwritten by Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Lehman Brothers Inc., and Barclays Capital, and will consist of a $650 million asset-based revolving credit facility and a $1,350 million term loan facility. The facilities are secured by substantially all of the assets of Dana and most of its domestic subsidiaries.

“This is a significant step toward our emergence as a strong, financially stable company that is equipped to make significant investments in our programs and to continue providing innovative products of the highest quality to our customers worldwide,” said Dana Chairman and CEO Mike Burns in a press release. “The fact that our exit facility is fully underwritten during difficult credit market conditions is a strong endorsement of our proposed capital structure and success in implementing our turnaround initiatives. In addition, it further ensures our timely emergence from Chapter 11 after confirmation of our plan of reorganization by the bankruptcy court.”

Proceeds from the facility will be used by Dana to repay its debtor-in- possession credit facility, make other payments required upon exit from bankruptcy, and provide liquidity to fund working capital and other general corporate purposes.

The commitment letter remains subject to bankruptcy court approval and the funding of the commitments set forth in the commitment letter is subject to customary closing conditions.

Dana blamed skyrocketing raw materials and energy costs as well as declining production at some of its largest U.S. customers for the bankruptcy in March 2006. Later in the year, it shuttered 8 plants, including a frame structure facility in Guelph, Ont. and a Thorold, Ont. plant, which makes metal stampings and frames for Ford trucks.

About three-quarters of the company’s business is from automotive systems and component sales, while the rest from truck products.

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