Dana Corp. files for Chapter 11 reorganization

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Dana Corp. announced Friday, March 3 that in order to address financial and operational challenges that have hampered its performance, the company and 40 of its U.S. subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Dana’s European, South American, Asia-Pacific, Canadian and Mexican subsidiaries are not included in the Chapter 11 filing and are operating as normal. The filings were made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

To fund its continuing operations during the restructuring, Dana secured a $1.45 billion debtor-in-possession financing facility from Citigroup, Bank of America, N.A. and JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. Subject to court approval, the DIP credit facility, which replaces the company’s previous $400 million revolving credit facility and $275 million receivables securitization facility, will be used for the company’s normal working capital requirements, including employee wages and benefits, supplier payments and other operating expenses during the reorganization process.

Dana says it has faced a continued decline in revenues resulting from the decreasing market share and production levels of its largest domestic customers, along with sharp increases in commodity and energy prices that have outpaced the cost savings Dana has been able to achieve. The general financial condition of the industry, together with Dana’s inability to renew or expand its credit facilities in a timely manner, has constrained the company’s liquidity, according to the company.

“The Chapter 11 process provides the company an opportunity to fix our business comprehensively — financially and operationally,” says Michael J. Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of Toledo, Ohio-based Dana. “This will be fundamental change, not just incremental improvement. The Chapter 11 process allows us to continue normal business operations, while we restructure our debt and other obligations and enhance performance.”

Dana filed “first-day motions” in the bankruptcy court designed to ensure that the company’s business continues to function without disruption. The court filings are intended to ensure that the company can continue to pay its employees and suppliers and maintain uninterrupted delivery of products and services to its customers. Dana reported total assets of about $7.9 billion and total liabilities of about $4.7 billion, on a consolidated basis, as of Sept. 30.

“We want to assure everyone — our customers, suppliers, our people and our communities — that Dana is open for business as usual,” Burns says. “And, to this end, our customers can continue to rely on Dana for quality products — delivered on time and to best-in-class specification. This is an extremely difficult, but necessary and responsible decision that will provide us with the time and opportunity to strengthen our performance and achieve a sustained turnaround at Dana.”

Burns says Dana intends to proceed with its previously announced divestiture and restructuring plans, which include the sale of several non-core businesses and the closure of several facilities and shift of production to lower-cost locations. In addition, Dana will continue to take steps to reduce costs, increase efficiency and enhance productivity, he says.