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US Airways CEO Rules Out Higher Offer for Delta Now

AP
Thursday, 28 Dec 2006 | 2:45 PM ET

US Airways has no intention right now to increase its $8.4 billion offer for Delta Air Lines and it can't see itself backing out of its pursuit of Delta for any reason, Chief Executive Doug Parker said.

In a wide-ranging telephone interview with Associated Press reporters, Parker said US Airways firmly believes that its offer for Delta provides more value than Delta's plan to emerge from bankrupcty protection by the middle of next year as a stand-alone carrier.

"We believe our offer is more than fair and don't feel any need to amend it at this point," Parker said.

Asked if there is any way US Airways would drop its hostile bid for Delta absent Delta's creditors' committee saying it wasn't interested, Parker indicated he didn't see any.

"We think this is such a unique opportunity that we have an obligation to pursue it and because of that obligation we will pursue it and believe we will be successful," Parker said. "So, no, I can't envision any scenario where we simply say, 'We change our mind. We don't think there's the value here and we're going home."'

Parker's comments came as lawyers for Delta, the nation's third-largest carrier, said Wednesday it has scheduled a Feb. 7 hearing in bankruptcy court to consider approval of the disclosure statement to the carrier's stand-alone reorganization plan.

The disclosure statement includes details on Delta's operations. If the statement is approved, that means Delta can begin soliciting votes on the reorganization plan, which typically takes four to eight weeks, Delta spokesman Michael Freitag said.

Delta is seeking to establish Feb. 1 as the date by which persons who want to vote on the reorganization plan must be creditors of the airline.

Delta faces the bid by US Airways that was first disclosed to the public on Nov. 15, even as Delta's reorganization plan calls for Delta to emerge from Chapter 11 by the middle of next year as a stand-alone carrier.

US Airways is hoping Delta's creditors force Delta's hand in its direction.

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