CNBC is reporting that UA has hired Goldman Sachs to explore 'strategic options':
Shares in UAL Corp. gained over 4% in premarket trade Monday after it became known that the parent company of United Airlines hired Goldman Sachs to explore strategic options, including possible mergers with other carriers. Speculation is that funding from private-equity firms, hedge funds or overseas carriers would be needed to facilitate a deal. Continental Airlines (CAL) and Delta Air Lines are considered to be United's likeliest merger partners. Both airlines have strong networks in the Southeastern U.S., Latin America and Europe.