Republic Airways says still working to shed Frontier unit

April 30 Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:24pm EDT

April 30 (Reuters) - Republic Airways Holdings said on Tuesday it still plans to shed its Frontier unit by June or July, depending on whether a sales agreement is reached.

Indianapolis-based Republic, which operates regional carriers Republic Airlines and Chautauqua Airlines, has been looking to divest itself of Frontier since late 2011. It had bought Frontier out of bankruptcy in 2009.

The Wall Street Journal reported in early April that two investment firms, Indigo Partners LLC in Phoenix, and Anchorage Capital Group LLC in New York, were competing to buy Frontier. Talks with Republic were at an early stage and could fall apart, the newspaper reported.

"Regarding the Frontier separation process, there's recently been some speculative reporting over the past few weeks," Republic Airways Chief Executive Bryan Bedford said during the company's earnings conference call on Tuesday. "We are simply not yet at a point in the process where we can answer any questions."

Bedford added that Republic had a goal to shed Frontier in the June to July period, "assuming we can reach an agreement that's satisfactory to the parties."

Republic Airways' shares were down 4.3 percent at $11.02.

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