TUDOR GROUP COMMITS $65 MILLION IN NEW EQUITY FUNDING TO US AIRWAYS-AMERICA WEST UPON COMPLETION OF MERGER
ARLINGTON, Va., July 7, 2005 -- America West Group Holdings (NYSE: AWA) and US Airways Group, Inc. (OTC: UAIRQ) announced today that Tudor Investment Corp., a leading asset management firm, has made a $65 million commitment to provide equity funding for US Airways’ Plan of Reorganization (POR) in exchange for approximately 3.9 million shares of new common stock at a price of $16.50 per share. Funding will occur along with other equity investments upon completion of the merger.
"The inclusion of Tudor as a new equity partner is a clear indication that investors continue to find great potential in our proposed merger with America West Airlines," said Bruce R. Lakefield, US Airways president and chief executive officer. "We are making tremendous progress in completing a merger that will provide the combined airline financial stability in this highly competitive marketplace."
The Tudor Group, which consists of Tudor Investment Corporation and its affiliates, is involved in active trading, investing, and research in the global equity, debt, currency, and commodity markets. Founded in 1980 by Paul Tudor Jones II, the firm currently manages over $11 billion. The firm's investment capabilities are broad and diverse, including global macro trading, fundamental equity investing in the United States and Europe, emerging markets, venture capital, commodities, event driven strategies and technical trading systems.
The other equity partners funding the US Airways POR and merger with America West are ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., ($75 million commitment) a Canadian holding company that owns Air Canada, Canada’s largest airline with over $7.5 billion in annual revenues; PAR Investment Partners, L.P., ($100 million commitment) a Boston-based investment firm; Peninsula Investment Partners, L.P., ($50 million commitment) a Virginia-based investment firm; Eastshore Holdings LLC, ($125 million commitment and agreement to provide regional airline services), which is owned by Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp., and its shareholders; and Wellington Management Company, a Boston-based investment management firm ($150 million commitment). The rights offering could provide an additional $150 million of equity financing.
As announced, the merger will be funded by $565 million in new equity investment and participation by suppliers and business partners that will provide the company with approximately $1.5 billion in liquidity. Terms of the Tudor agreement have been filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the eastern district of Virginia, where the US Airways case is being heard.
The US Airways and America West merger, which is expected to close in the early fall, will create the first full-service low-cost nationwide airline, with a consumer-friendly pricing structure offering a network of low-fare service to over 200 cities across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, and amenities that include an extensive frequent flyer program, airport clubs, assigned seating and First Class cabin service. The airline will operate under the US Airways brand and will be headquartered in Tempe, Ariz.
The U.S. Department of Justice has completed its review of the proposed merger of the two airlines without issuing a formal request for additional information (commonly referred to as a "second request"). Since the 30-day period for alternative offers on the proposed merger ended without any competing offers having been submitted, and since there are no qualified competing plan proposals, US Airways will proceed to seek confirmation of the POR implementing the merger agreement and investment agreements.