Bid for Delta Raised, Northwest Enters the Picture US Airways has upped its hostile bid for bankrupt carrier Delta Air Lines to $10.2 billion. So far, Delta has snubbed those takeover overtures. Now it turns out that Delta may be talking to Northwest about a merger, another bankrupt carrier.
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Bid for Delta Raised, Northwest Enters the Picture

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Bid for Delta Raised, Northwest Enters the Picture

Bid for Delta Raised, Northwest Enters the Picture

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And two other industry giants are readying for battle. U.S. Airways has increased its offer for Delta Airlines to more than $10 billion. The new bid puts more pressure on Delta's management but there may be another suitor in the wings.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN: Delta, the nation's third largest airline, is slated to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this year. And it said it wants to do that on its own, not as part of a merged company. But that hadn't deterred U.S. Airways. Last November, it made an unsolicited $8 billion bid for Delta. Yesterday, it upped its bid to more than 10 billion.

Jim Corridore is an airline equity analyst at Standard & Poor's.

Mr. JIM CORRIDORE (Airline Equity Analyst, Standard & Poor's): I think that U.S. Air feels that they can bring out significant cost out of the combination of the two companies and get additional revenue synergies, and that combination represent a stronger company than they do on a stand-alone basis.

KAUFMAN: But airline industry analyst and consultant Michael Boyd says a merger of U.S. Air and Delta would hurt just about everyone.

Mr. MICHAEL BOYD (Airline Industry Analyst): Consumers will have fewer choices and higher fares. And the U.S. Air offer for Delta is specifically aimed at reducing competition.

KAUFMAN: Delta issued a statement Wednesday saying it would review U.S. Air's latest offer but indicated it did not welcome the revised bid. But there may be a third option. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Delta is considering a possible combination with Northwest Airlines. Northwest had no comment.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.

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