Southwest to buy AirTran – Sep. 27, 2010

Does this mean Southwest is finally coming to Lexington?  I hope so!

Southwest to buy AirTran – Sep. 27, 2010.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Southwest Airlines plans to acquire AirTran Holdings for $1.4 billion, the airlines said on Monday.

Southwest (LUVFortune 500) said the deal values AirTran at $7.69 per share, a 69% premium over AirTran’s closing price of $4.55 on Friday. AirTran’s (AAI) stock surged to $7.27 in pre-market trading.

Southwest chief executive officer Gary Kelly said the deal will allow his airline to expand into airports serving major hubs like Atlanta, Washington D.C., Boston, Baltimore and New York City.

Southwest said the total deal, including AirTran’s debt and aircraft operating leases, is valued at about $3.4 billion.

The deal has been approved by the board of directors of each airline, and is now contingent upon the approval of regulators and AirTran stockholders.

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