Compiled By Jill Jusko Automotive components supplier ArvinMeritor Inc. on Nov. 17 increased to $18 per share in cash its offer to obtain all outstanding common shares of competitor Dana Corp. The new offer is 20% higher than ArvinMeritor's previous bid -- and it is its final bid, the Troy, Mich.-based manufacturer said. In response, Toledo-based Dana announced that its board would evaluate the revised offer and advise shareholders of its position. The tender offer expires at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. "We continue to believe this is a logical combination that makes strategic sense. When we first approached Dana on June 4, 2003, Dana's stock was trading at under $10 per share," said ArvinMeritor Chairman and CEO Larry Yost in a statement. "Since then, nothing in Dana's recent performance has indicated that its current stock levels are sustainable as an independent company. If the Dana board gives our offer a fair and objective review, we believe that they will want to pursue a combination of the two companies." Shares in Dana closed at $16.65 per share on the last trading day before the improved offer from ArvinMeritor was announced. In announcing its Dec. 2 deadline to begin negotiations on its final offer, ArvinMeritor said that it was not in its shareholders' best interests to "continue expending valuable corporate resources for an indeterminate period of time."