AMR CEO: We Are Evaluating Mergers. US Airways: Finally
DALLAS (TheStreet) - The CEO of bankrupt AMR Corp. (AAMRQ.PK) , the parent company of American Airlines, says the carrier once looked at acquiring US Airways (LCC) and is now looking again at a potential merger.
In a letter sent to employees on Tuesday, CEO Tom Horton said AMR executives met with the company's creditors committee to discuss options. He described the meeting as "good," but repeated his belief that "it is best that we first put our own house in order before considering a complex and challenging airline acquisition."
"That is just common sense," he added.
In a prepared statement late Tuesday, US Airways declared: "We are pleased that AMR's process to explore merger options is moving forward.
"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," the carrier said. "We remain confident that our plan will maximize value for all stakeholders."
US Airways has been aggressively seeking a merger with American, which has resisted the effort in the past. In May, however, American said it would explore the possibility of a merger while still in bankruptcy, reversing its previous position at the behest of its creditors.
In his letter, Horton wrote that seven months into bankruptcy, American is producing good operating results as well as making progress on new labor agreements with the Allied Pilots Association and the Transport Workers Union.
"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," he said. "This evaluation is being conducted by our leadership team and our board of directors in collaboration with the creditors committee.
"We are examining the strategic fit of possible combinations including a thorough economic analysis of synergies, costs, and tax and capital structure implications," Horton continued.
In the letter, Horton did not seem as averse to a merger as he has previously been. He did not name US Airways and appeared to indicate that various merger possibilities and partners could be considered.