Fri, Jan 12, 2007
Airlines Appeal To Midwest Shareholders
The battle being waged between Delta Air Lines and US Airways
over a hostile takeover bid is also playing out between rivals
AirTran and Midwest Airlines... albeit on a smaller scale.
On Thursday, AirTran upped its offer to acquire Midwest to $345
million. This, after the Milwaukee-based carrier flatly refused
AirTran's earlier $290 million deal last month.
This time around, AirTran performed an end-run around the board
at Midwest that rejected its previous offer. The carrier appealed
directly to Midwest shareholders, touting the 61-percent premium
over the current 30-day average closing price for Midwest stock its
proposal offers them.
"You gave us no choice but to bring our offer directly to the
owners of the company," AirTran CEO Joseph Leonard wrote in a
letter to Midwest's board. "We are willing to take this step
because we fully believe that a combined AirTran and Midwest ...
will generate the value needed to justify our increased offer."
That offer likely raised a few eyebrows among Midwest
shareholders... a fact the airline is well aware of. Midwest
Airlines executives announced this week plans to add more routes,
and update its fleet.
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