US Airways offers $8B for Delta Air Lines

Nov. 15, 2006 at 3:32 PM

TEMPE, Ariz., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- US Airways Group Inc. is offering to buy bankrupt Delta Air Lines Inc. for about $8 billion in cash and stock but Delta responded cooly.

Under terms of the Arizona carrier's proposal, disclosed late Tuesday, Delta creditors would get $4 billion in cash and 78.5 million shares of US Airways stock with an aggregate value of about $4 billion, based on the closing price of US Airways' stock as of Tuesday. US Airways says its offer marks a 25-percent premium over Delta's current share price.

Delta Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein said Wednesday the airline would review the unsolicited offer.

"Delta's plan has always been to emerge from bankruptcy in the first half of 2007 as a strong, stand-alone carrier. Our plan is working and we are proud of the progress Delta people are making to achieve this objective."

US Airways, which has lined up $7.2 billion in financing through Citigroup, sees opportunities to cut costs by $1.65 billion -- but only if the deal moves ahead soon, said the airline's chief, Doug Parker.

Earlier this year Parker talked with Grinstein about buying Delta but that idea was reportedly rejected by Grinstein.

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