By Karen Jacobs and Nick Brown
Feb 14 (Reuters) - Shareholders of American Airlines parent
AMR Corp may end up with a stake worth about $400 million in a
combined American Airways/US Airways after the two companies
announced a merger, a rare win for a company coming out of
AMR, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, said on
Thursday that it will merge with US Airways Group in an $11
billion all-stock deal, forming the world's biggest air carrier.
"It is unusual in Chapter 11 cases - and unprecedented in
recent airline restructurings - for shareholders to receive
meaningful recoveries," American Chairman and Chief Executive
Tom Horton said in Thursday's merger announcement.
The widely expected merger must receive court approval,
which the company hopes to attain late next month, an AMR lawyer
said at a bankruptcy court hearing on Thursday. AMR would then
construct a bankruptcy restructuring plan that would incorporate
the merger, which would also need court and creditor approval.
AMR said its shareholders stand to recover at least a 3.5
percent ownership stake in the new airline. Jack Butler, an
attorney for AMR's creditor committee, said on Thursday that the
value of that stake was between $350 million and $400 million.
The day before AMR filed for Chapter 11 protection, its
shares closed at $1.62, bringing its market capitalization to
roughly $542 million. The $400 million, while short of that
amount, is significant given the rarity of shareholders
recovering value in bankruptcy.
The day of the airline's filing, Nov. 29, 2011, its shares
closed at 26 cents, bringing the market cap to about $87
million, based on about 335 million shares outstanding.
AMR shares, which have been rising in recent months on
expectations of the US Airways merger, jumped 63 percent on
Thusday to close at $2.12.
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