US Air makes AMR merger offer, Jan deal possible: source

NEW YORK Fri Dec 7, 2012 4:02pm EST

A US Airways plane passes American Airlines planes at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington April 23, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A US Airways plane passes American Airlines planes at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington April 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

NEW YORK (Reuters) - US Airways Group Inc LCC.N has made a formal merger proposal to American Airlines parent AMR Corp (AAMRQ.PK) and its creditors that could value the combined airline at around $8.5 billion, a person familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Under the all-stock proposal US Airways made in mid-November at a meeting with AMR's unsecured creditors committee, the bankrupt airline's creditors would own 70 percent of the merged company and US Airways shareholders 30 percent, the person said.

US Airways and AMR are currently negotiating toward a potential merger agreement that could come as soon as January, the person added, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.

At the same time, AMR is still pursuing a plan to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings as an independent airline, which will be compared against the merits of a merger with US Airways, the person said.

The combined AMR and US Airways could have a value similar to Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), which has a market capitalization of around $8.6 billion, the person said.

Representatives of AMR, US Airways and the creditors committee all declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported details of the proposal earlier on Friday.

(Reporting By Soyoung Kim in New York; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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