AA/NW Talks Heat Up

Fri Jun 02, 2000 4:46 pm

Well, the speculation has now spread to the news media. Watch the markets go crazy tomorrow.

Report: Northwest, American Talked

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Officials of AMR Corp. [NYSE:AAR - news], the parent of American Airlines, have talked with Northwest Airlines Corp. about a possible bid to acquire Northwest, KSTP-TV reported Thursday night.

Northwest's president and chief executive, John Dasburg, has been in contact with his counterpart at AMR, Don J. Carty, about a possible merger, the St. Paul television station said, citing ``well-placed'' sources within the industry. It did not identify the sources but said the talks were in preliminary stages.

Calls to Northwest for comment were not immediately returned. Reached at home Thursday evening, American spokesman John Hotard said, ``there is officially no comment.''

Analysts have said that American, the world's second-largest airline, is under pressure to consider buying another carrier to compete with UAL Corp. (NYSE:UAL - news), the parent of No. 1 United, which announced last week that it is buying US Airways Group Inc [NYSE:U - news].

American is based in Fort Worth, Texas. Northwest, based in Eagan, Minn., is fifth in the world and No. 4 in the United States.

US Airways ranks sixth in the nation and 10th in the world.