Fund retools offer with US Airways

Old Dec 5, 02, 11:18 am
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Fund retools offer with US Airways

Posted on Thu, Dec. 05, 2002 story:PUB_DESC
Fund retools offer with US Airways
Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama's pension fund is renegotiating its offer to buy a 38 percent share of US Airways for $240 million.

David Bronner, chief executive officer of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, met with airline officials yesterday in Montgomery.

"We are retrading the deal," he said. "We want more."

Bankrupt US Airways, the dominant carrier at Philadelphia International Airport, accepted the pension fund's offer in September. No other suitors made higher offers, so the airline recently started moving forward with plans for the retirement system to acquire a 38 percent share.

Bronner told a state pension panel yesterday that the original offer included the system's controlling five of the 13 seats on the US Airways board of directors. Now, he said, the fund wants seven. Bronner also said he either wanted to reduce the $240 million investment, receive preferred stock, or find another way to improve the deal.

Bronner said that the deal was "in flux" and that the retirement system was awaiting more information from a revised reorganization plan that US Airways must file this month. The airline sought bankruptcy protection in August.

US Airways spokeswoman Deborah Thompson described the continuing discussions as "positive and constructive."

The airline announced Nov. 26 that it was seeking more concessions from its unions before filing its reorganization plan. It also announced that 2,500 more employees would be furloughed during the next three months.

US Airways had 49,000 employees before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Now it is down to 35,000.
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