Journalists textual data from 1987


   “_id” : 1836,
   “date” : “4-MAR-1987 17:08:17.36”,
   “topics” : “acq”,
   “places” : “usa”,
   “people” : “icahn”,
   “orgs” : “”,
   “exchanges” : “”,
   “companies” : “”,
   “text” : {
       “title” : “TWA PIE SITUATION”,
       “dateline” : “New York, March 4 -“,
       “body” : “Trans World Airlines Inc complicatedthe bidding for Piedmont Aviation Inc by offering either to buyPiedmont suitor USAir Group or, alternatively, to merge withPiedmont and USAir. Piedmont’s board was meeting today, and Wall Streetspeculated the board was discussing opposing bids from NorfolkSouthern Corp and USAir. The TWA offer was announced shortlyafter the Piedmont board meeting was scheduled to begin. TWA offered to buy USAir for 52 dlrs cash per share. Italso said it was the largest shareholder of USAir andthreatened to go directly to USAir shareholders with an offerfor 51 pct of the stock at a lower price. TWA also said it believed its offer was a better deal forUSAir shareholders than an acquisition of Piedmont, but it saidit alternatively would discuss a three-way combination of theairlines. Market sources and analysts speculated that TWA chairmanCarl Icahn made the offer in order to put his own airline intothe takeover arena. We’re just wondering if he’s not just trying to get TWAinto play. There’s speculation on the street he just wants tomove onto somthing else, said one arbitrager. We think TWAmight just be putting up a trial balloon. Analysts said the offer must be taken seriously by USAir,but that the airline will probably reject it because the priceis relatively low compared to other airline deals. They also said Icahn must prove his offer credible byrevealing financing arrangements. They need to show theircommitment and their ability to finance. I think it’s acredible offer, said Timothy Pettee, a Bear Stearns analyst. I think it’s certainly on the low end of relative valuesof airline deals, said Pettee. Pettee estimated 58 dlrs wouldbe in a more reasonable range based on other airline mergers. USAir stock soared after TWA made public its offer. Aspokesman for USAir declined comment, and said USAir had notchanged its offer for Piedmont. USAir offered of buy 50 pct ofthat airline’s stock for 71 dlrs cash per share and the balancefor 73 dlrs per share in USAir stock. USAir closed up 5-3/8 at 49-1/8 on volume of 1.9 mlnshares. Piedmont, which slipped 1/2 to close at 69-5/8, alsoremained silent on the TWA action. Piedmont has an outstanding65 dlr cash per share offer from Norfolk Southern Corp. Norfolk Southern declined comment, but said it stuck withits offer for Piedmont. Norfolk owns about 20 pct of Piedmontand opened the bidding when it said it would propose a takeoverof Piedmont. Some analysts said Icahn may be trying to acquire USAir tomake his own airline a more attractive takeover target. Icahn I think had wanted to sell his airline and therewere no takers. I think the strategy might have called formaking his investment more attractive. One way to accomplishthat specific objective is to go out and acquire otherairlines, said Andrew Kim of Eberstadt Fleming. I don’t know whose going to buy them, but at least thisway it becomes a much more viable package, said Kim. But Icahn’s financing ability for such a transactionremains in doubt, in part because of TWA’s heavy debt load. Wall street sources said TWA has some cash with which to dothe offer. The sources said Icahn has not lined up outside financialadvisers and plans to make his own arrangements. Icahn earlier this year abandoned plans to buy USX Corp Xand still retains 11 pct of that company’s stock. Some Wall street sources said the financier’s USX plan wasimpacted by the cloud hanging over his adviser, Drexel BurnhamLambert Inc, because of Wall Street’s insider trading scandal. Industry sources also predicted USAir might reject the TWAoffer on price and financing concerns. It’s littered withcontingencies and it doesn’t even have a financingarrangement, said one executive at another major airline. But the executive conceded a merged TWA-USAir would be astrong contender with USAir’s east coast route system andplanned west coast presence from PSA. USAir could feed theintenrational flights of TWA, which has a midwest presence inits St. Louis hub. Adding Piedmont, dominant in the southeast,to the mix would develop an even stronger force. The combined entity would also have TWA’s pars reservationsystem. Such a merger would be complex and analysts said it wouldresult in an airline iwth an 18 pct market share. Reuter”

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