ArvinMeritor Inc. issued a statement on Monday responding to a lawsuit filed by rival Dana Corporation, according to Associated Press (AP).


The news agency said the lawsuit accuses the automotive parts maker of using sensitive information to launch a hostile takeover and asks a judge to stop ArvinMeritor from pursuing a takeover of Toledo-based Dana because confidential information was used in the bid.


According to AP, ArvinMeritor said in Monday’s statement that the lawsuit is without merit and the company will fight it in court.


“We believe that Dana’s shareowners would be better served by the board and management working with us to quickly close a transaction that is in the best interests of both companies’ shareowners,” the statement read, according to AP.


Associated Press noted that, two years ago, the two automotive supply companies considered a joint venture combining their aftermarket businesses. Last month, ArvinMeritor offered $US15 a share in cash for all outstanding shares of Dana, its larger competitor but Dana’s board rejected the proposal, saying it was financially inadequate and high-risk.


In court papers, AP said, Dana argues that some information it shared with ArvinMeritor in the 2001 talks – including breakdowns of Dana’s finances and future growth expectations – were to be used only to consider the joint venture.


AP said that Dana believes the information was used in the takeover bid.


The lawsuit accuses ArvinMeritor’s chairman and chief executive officer, Larry Yost, of telling analysts in a July 8 conference call about the confidential discussions, Associated Press said.