U.S. News

Delta to Discuss US Airways' Increased Bid with Board


Delta Air Lines plans to discuss US Airways' increased bid to buy Delta with its board of directors soon, the company said Friday as it filed an amended reorganization plan that details how it would satisfy claims against its subsidiary, Comair.

Beyond that statement, the nation's third largest carrier offered no new insight into the fate of a hostile bid by Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways Group to buy Delta in a deal valued at $10.2 billion.

Delta management has said repeatedly it opposes a merger with US Airways, but reiterated Friday it was obligated to review US Airways' increased offer, which was made Jan. 10. Its board rejected US Airways' initial offer, which was made Nov. 15.

The current offer is about 20% higher than the original.

"Delta's management and advisers are currently evaluating the revised US Airways proposal, in anticipation of making a further presentation to Delta's board of directors in the near future," Delta said in the filing.

Delta's amended reorganization plan calls for unsecured creditors of Comair to receive 76 percent to 100% of its allowed claims, among other things.

Atlanta-based Delta said general unsecured claims against Erlanger, Ky.-based Comair will be paid through the issuance of new Delta stock once Delta emerges from bankruptcy.

There are roughly $1.4 billion in unsecured claims against Comair, of which about $800 million is projected to be allowed claims, Delta said.

Secured and priority claims against Comair will be paid in full, Delta said. Securities litigation claims against Comair would receive no payment under Delta's reorganization plan.

Delta did not address the payment of claims against Comair when it initially filed its reorganization plan on Dec. 19.

Delta has estimated it will be worth $9.4 billion to $12 billion if it emerges from Chapter 11 by the middle of the year as a standalone company, which is its goal. That valuation did not change in the amended reorganization plan filed Friday.

A Feb. 7 bankruptcy court hearing in New York has been scheduled to discuss the disclosure statement to Delta's reorganization plan. If the statement, which includes details of Delta's operations, is approved, Delta could begin soliciting votes for approval of its reorganization plan.

US Airways is asking Delta's official creditors committee to support postponing that hearing. It has said that if that condition is not met by Feb. 1, along with several other conditions, it will revoke its bid for Delta. Delta's official creditors committee has so far been silent about its position on US Airways' revised offer.