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American Airlines CEO: Now makes sense to evaluate a range of strategic options, including mergers

11-Jul-2012 3:02 PM

AMR Corp and American Airlines chairman, president and CEO Thomas Horton, in an letter to employees, stated (10-Jul-2012) the carrier is "well down the path to a successful restructuring to restore our company to industry leadership". He described the airline's current strategy as being "strong" and "rapidly gaining altitude". "We have hubs in the most important markets, the best international alliance partners, and a pipeline of industry leading products and services, including plans for the most modern, growing fleet in the industry," he said. He continued: "Now makes sense to carefully evaluate a range of strategic options, including potential mergers, which could make the new American even stronger." The evaluation process is being conducted by the carrier's leadership team and board of directors in collaboration with the creditors committee, with the carrier and creditors committee holding a "good meeting" on 10-Jul-2012 to discuss the "preliminary view of the multiple options available to us for consideration". Mr Horton said the exploratory process "will take time" and is designed to provide the "very best outcome for the financial and other stakeholders of American" and is part of efforts to "rebuild the new American as a profitable, world-class industry leader". [more - original PR]

American Airlines: "Seven months into the restructuring, our performance has been strong. Our hub and alliance strategy, fortified by our international joint ventures, is producing the biggest unit revenue gains in the industry, a trend that continued with our June results released yesterday. Our operating and customer service performance is the best it has been in many years. And in the last few weeks we have achieved a number of important milestones, injecting new momentum into our restructuring. I believe our recent tentative agreement with the APA, and agreements with the TWU, will prove to be an important turning point in our mission to put American back in the lead," Thomas Horton, chairman, president and CEO. Source: Company statement, 10-Jul-2012.

American Airlines: "We are approaching the point where we have greater clarity on our revenue outlook and cost structure and can begin to accelerate the plan for the new American. And 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...we are examining the strategic fit of possible combinations including a thorough economic analysis of synergies, costs, and tax and capital structure implications.... For many years, I have publicly been a proponent of consolidation as one path to a healthier US airline industry. We have assessed many possible combinations in the past, including, of course, an acquisition of US Airways. In fact, last year, I
approached my counterparts at other airlines about the merits of possible combinations. Since that time, as we embarked on the restructuring journey, I have held the view 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. But it is also prudent merger strategy, should we take that path, to assure that we begin from a position of greatest strength and stability
," Thomas Horton, chairman, president and CEO. Source: Company statement, 10-Jul-2012.