ATLANTA - US Airways Group Inc. chief executive officer Doug Parker was noncommittal yesterday on whether his company would be willing to increase its bid to buy Delta Air Lines Inc. to appease Delta's creditors.
"It's not a yes," Parker said when asked by the Associated Press if US Airways would again increase its offer, currently valued at $9.8 billion.
But, he quickly added, "we're always willing to talk to people."
Parker said Delta's official committee of unsecured creditors, which will play a key role in deciding whether any merger agreement would proceed, had not indicated that it wanted US Airways to offer more money.
In fact, Parker said he was in the dark about what the creditors committee was thinking. The committee has not issued a statement about its position since US Airways, of Tempe, Ariz., increased its offer for Delta nearly 20 percent Jan. 10.
"There's been no negotiating whatsoever," Parker said. "No one has come back to us and said we should increase our offer."
US Airways is the major carrier at Philadelphia International Airport, with about two-thirds of the traffic.
A Feb. 7 Bankruptcy Court hearing in New York has been scheduled to discuss the disclosure statement to Delta's reorganization plan, which calls for the Atlanta airline to emerge from Chapter 11 by the middle of this year as a stand-alone carrier. If the statement, which includes details of Delta's operations, is approved, Delta could begin soliciting votes for approval of its reorganization plan.
US Airways is asking Delta's official creditors committee to support postponing that hearing. It has said that if that condition is not met by Feb. 1, along with several other conditions, it would revoke its bid for Delta.
Parker said yesterday that US Airways made the point to the creditors committee as recently as last week that time was running out for action by the committee.
"We made it crystal clear, if there is no action by Feb. 1, then our offer is withdrawn," Parker said. "They fully understand that now. We're dead serious about the deadline."
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that US Airways' bid is losing traction among Delta's creditors and that the creditors committee had grown skeptical of the proposed merger. A lawyer for the committee, Daniel Golden, did not immediately return a call seeking comment yesterday from the Associated Press.
Delta's board, meanwhile, could vote on US Airways' most recent offer this week.