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Auto parts giant



agreed Friday to sell its automotive aftermarket business for $1.1 billion, in cash, to New York private equity firm Cypress Group.

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The sale includes 52 facilities employing 13,000 people worldwide and posting 2003 sales of around $2 billion. The transaction also involves several replacement product brands and a variety of under-vehicle components.

The deal doesn't include Dana's distribution and marketing operations for its engine products, such as piston rings, gaskets and engine bearings, which Dana will retain as part of its Automotive Systems Group.

"The completed transaction will provide Dana with important strategic and financial flexibility, which will be used to further invigorate our core businesses and better serve our global original equipment customers," CEO Michael Burns said. "Dana will be a more streamlined company that is better focused on delivering world-class component and systems solutions to our customers in the automotive, commercial vehicle, and off-highway markets."

Dana shares rose 4% on word of the deal, adding 73 cents to $19.15.