Going? Gone? The US Airways hostile pursuit of Delta Air Lines seems to be losing altitude.
Chief executive Doug Parker said on a conference call that US Airways would drop its $10 billion bid for Atlanta-based Delta on 1 February if the Delta creditors committee does not move to force the bankrupt carrier's executives into merger talks. "They know exactly what they have to do and they know that if they don't do it, our proposal is gone", he said. But if the Delta creditors are not ready to play ball, "we're not willing to pursue this transaction anymore."
Parker was telling securities analysts about the airline's better-than-expected fourth-quarter profits of $86 million after specials, one-time charges and gains. This is the sort of conversation in which observers will want to weigh every syllable and nuance, and you can too, by listening to Parker's comments.
Parker says more than once that US Airways' deadline is firm, buts seems truly surprised that anyone would not take the cash-and-stock offer and "make the right decision." He spoke just hours after Delta revealed that it had $2.5 billion in financing lined up to support its emergence from reorganisation as a stand-alone airline - an airline that hasn't merged with anyone.
Is this what T.S. Eliot meant with the line in the poem about ending "not with a bang but a whimper"?