Delta Lands Post-Bankruptcy Financing

The embattled airline, still fending off a hostile bid by US Airways, plans to emerge from Chapter 11 in the spring.
Stephen TaubJanuary 30, 2007

Delta Air Lines announced that in its efforts to emerge from Chapter 11 protection, it has obtained commitments for $2.5 billion in financing.

The embattled airline, still fending off a $9.9 billion hostile bid from US Airways Group, added that it plans to emerge from bankruptcy in the spring.

“This is an important milestone in the successful implementation of our restructuring plan,” said executive vice president and chief financial officer Edward H. Bastian, in a statement.

The exit facility will be co-led by six financial institutions: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, UBS, and Barclays Capital. It will consist of a $1 billion first-lien revolving credit facility, a $500 million first-lien Term Loan A, and a $1 billion second-lien Term Loan B.

The facility will be secured by substantially all of the first-priority collateral in the existing debtor-in-possession facilities. Proceeds will be used to repay its $2.1 billion debtor-in-possession credit facilities, to make other payments required upon exit from bankruptcy, and to increase its cash balance, which the company deems “strong.”

During a conference call with analysts and investors, US Airways chief executive officer Doug Parker responded that his company will not pursue an unsolicited bid without support from Delta’s creditors committee, according to Bloomberg.

According to the wire service, a group of about 20 institutions holding $2.25 billion in Delta debt has urged the official creditors committee to meet US Airways’s February 1 deadline for resuming merger talks.

Parker stated that US Airways won’t work with an ad hoc group of Delta debtholders if a merger is not supported by the official creditors group, Bloomberg added. “We have no interest in that plan,” Parker reportedly said on the conference call. If the creditors committee doesn’t meet its deadline, “we are not willing to pursue this transaction anymore.”