American Airlines 'ready to consider merger options'

American Airlines 'ready to consider merger options'

American Airlines is ready to consider mergers and other restructuring options, according to chief executive Tom Horton.

The carrier will begin contacting “interested parties” soon to lay out how it plans to proceed, Horton told employees in a letter yesterday, without being specific.

US Airways has publicly stated its interest in a merger with American, which went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year.

American discussed its preliminary view of “multiple” options at a meeting yesterday with its unsecured creditors committee, Horton said.

American reached an agreement in May with the nine-member committee, which has a voice in major decisions during bankruptcy, to explore strategic options including a possible sale.

Since then, the carrier had pushed for its full plan to remain independent after bankruptcy to be evaluated before alternatives are considered.

“It is at this juncture that it now makes sense to carefully evaluate a range of strategic options, including potential mergers, which could make the new American even stronger,” Horton said in the letter.

He also disclosed that he approached executives of other airlines last year about the benefits of possible consolidation before opting to restructure independently.

A US Airways spokesman told Bloomberg news: “All we have asked for is a fair and balanced opportunity to present our plan versus others, and we are hopeful this is the beginning of such a process.”



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