Fri, Mar 25, 2011
Deal Currently Expected To Close In Second Quarter of 2011
Stockholders in AirTran Holdings have voted overwhelmingly to
approve the merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest
Airlines with and into AirTran at a special meeting held Wednesday
in Orlando, FL. More than 98.6 percent of the votes cast and
77.5 percent of shares outstanding were voted in favor of the
"We are grateful for our stockholders' strong vote of confidence
in this merger," said Bob Fornaro, AirTran's chairman, president
and chief executive officer. "In approving the transaction,
our stockholders recognized the value of bringing together AirTran
and Southwest to create a platform for increased profitability and
sustainable long-term value."
AirTran and Southwest announced the proposed merger on September
27, 2010. The companies are awaiting clearance on the
proposed merger from the United States Department of Justice.
The merger is currently expected to close by during the second
quarter of 2011. The transaction remains under review by the U.S.
Department of Justice (DOJ) and is subject to certain other
regulatory clearances. Southwest and AirTran continue to operate as
two independent companies pending those clearances. Southwest
anticipates the transaction to close in the second quarter of this
year. Until the acquisition is approved and finalized, both
carriers will continue to operate independently.
"We appreciate the confidence AirTran shareholders have in
Southwest to continue the good work of AirTran's hardworking Crew
Members (employees) who have made AirTran a successful airline over
the past 17 years," said Gary Kelly, Chairman, CEO, and President
of Southwest Airlines. "This approval is another important and
exciting step toward completing the transaction and beginning the
integration of AirTran into Southwest to ultimately serve the
flying public as one carrier."
The merger wasn't the only news involving Southwest Wednesday.
Stock clerks at Southwest Airlines ratified a new, five-year
agreement with the company, Capt. David Bourne, Director of the
Teamsters Airline Division. "This is a prime example of Teamster
power in the airline industry," Bourne said. "Our members have
ratified a contract that enhances quality of life and offers peace
Sixty percent of the work group voted in favor of the
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