May 12, 2007

Midwest defends AirTran rejection, AirTran vows to close deal

In an intriguing scheduling overlap, top-level executives of both Midwest Airlines and AirTran Airways both spoke on Wednesday at the same investor's conference in New York. AirTran, of course, is in the midst of a hostile and somewhat heated takeover bid for Midwest.

Midwest Chairman and CEO Tim Hoeksema told the crowd that he supported the April recommendation of his company's board that Midwest shareholders not tender their shares to AirTran Holdings, The Associated Press writes.

Not surprisingly, AirTran officials felt differently. AP writes that "Bob Fornaro, president and chief operating officer of AirTran …, told investors at the same conference later in the day that his company felt it would get many shareholders to turn over their stock and close the deal."

Fornaro said: "We're going to see that deal through. A lot is going to happen over the next few weeks. We think we're very well positioned because we've got a good price and it's a very sound transaction." AP adds that "Midwest board's rejection of the offer could set up a showdown at its shareholder meeting in June." Stay tuned …

By Ben Mutzabaugh

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