AMR-US Airways merger hearing set for March 27
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Friday, February 22, 2013
2/22/13 at 6:59 AM
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U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane will hear AMR Corp.'s motion to merge American Airlines and US Airways into the world's largest carrier on March 27, according to an order signed by the judge Thursday in New York.
AMR, the parent of American Airlines and American Eagle, will argue before Lane that it is in the best interest of the company and creditors tied to more than $30 billion for the court to approve the merger announced last week.
The court is giving parties opposed to the $11 billion merger until March 15 to object.
The process is a vital step in the merger, which gives AMR groups 72 percent of the company and grants bankruptcy creditors five seats on the 12-member board of the new company, which would be called American Airlines.
The combined American Airlines and US Airways would employ nearly 120,000 people and fly 950 jets to about 900 destinations.
US Airways CEO Doug Parker, who would retain his title, lobbied many groups including creditors to persuade AMR leadership to agree to the plan.
US Airways' proposal could give American Airlines' creditors a nearly $8 billion stake in the new company, based on US Airways' recent stock price.
The companies also need approval from US Airways shareholders as well as federal regulators, including the antitrust arm of the U.S. Department of Justice.
AMR and US Airways executives expect the merger to be finished by the third quarter, but it could take 18 months to fully combine the two airlines as they seek permission from the Federal Aviation Administration for one operating certificate.
According to a regulatory filing Thursday by Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways, the new company would be known as American Airlines Group Inc. The name would replace AMR "immediately after the effective time of the merger," the filing stated.
In announcing their merger agreement Feb. 14, American CEO Tom Horton said the new carrier would be called AMR Corp. and operate under the American Airlines name.
"Our filing speaks to our understanding," John McDonald, a US Airways spokesman, said in an email when asked about the name. "Can't really expound beyond that."
Horton "must have just misspoke" in a conference call on the merger last week, Mike Trevino, an American spokesman, said in an emailed statement. Trevino confirmed the new name.
An AMR spokeswoman told the Tulsa World last week that the name of the new company would be American Airlines Group. It would be based in Fort Worth, currently the location of AMR's headquarters.
American Airlines shareholders approved creation of a new holding company called AMR Corp. in 1982, according to the carrier's website.
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.
Original Print Headline: AMR-US Airways merger hearing set
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380