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Published: Tuesday, 7/24/2007

Dana, N.J. hedge fund in confidentiality pact

New Jersey hedge fund Appaloosa Management LP has entered into a confidentiality agreement with Dana Corp., perhaps easing a battle between the two firms.

As unions at Dana vote on new contracts and benefits changes, the firm's largest shareholder has asked the Toledo company to reconsider a financial deal underlying the settlement.

Appaloosa, which owns 15 percent of Dana shares, termed "absurd and one-sided" a financing deal that the Toledo auto parts maker entered this month to fund health benefits for its union employees and union retirees.

The fund has repeatedly asked Dana for confidential information, including what its post-bankruptcy strategy is. Dana, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, 2006, had refused to provide Appaloosa with a satisfactory response.

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday, the Toledo firm agreed to provide certain confidential information to Appaloosa.

Questioned by the fund was an agreement Dana reached with private-equity firm Centerbridge Capital Partners LP to invest, with partners, up to $750 million to fund the health benefits. The separate financing is to help free Dana of a $1.3 billion health care obligation it said it needs to shed to successfully emerge from bankruptcy.

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