Monday, November 30, 2015

Southwest Airlines taking over AirTran

$3.4 billion deal makes Southwest Air bigger

Southwest Airlines taking over AirTran


Southwest Airlines says it's paying $1.4 billion (and taking over $2 billion in debt) to acquire low-cost rival AirTran. Price works out to around $7.69 a share in cash and stock, which Southwest says is a 69% premium to AirTran' recent share price.

Deal still needs AirTrans shareholder approval and routine federal regulatory approval. The combination may mean some jobs and flights will be combined at airports like Philadelphia International that are served by both airlines. Southwest statement here.

Update: Why this deal, why now? Southwest's status as a relatively efficient, popular, mid-sized airline "won’t work once the domestic industry becomes the massive trio of United, Delta, American" following pending mergers, writes commentator Jason Bachman in this brief Bloomberg LP note. Plus AirTran gets Southwest into Latin America in a bigger way. Tho he "expects some lumps" in the merger, Southwest's largest. Plus "it may well feel pressed to add more airlines in the race to compete."

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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

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