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SkyWest To Take Over ExpressJet

posted Aug 5, 2010, 12:24 AM by Elaine Bell   [ updated Aug 5, 2010, 12:49 AM ]




By David Kaminski-Morrow


US operator SkyWest Airlines' parent has agreed to take over regional carrier ExpressJet Airlines and merge the operation with its wholly-owned subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines.

SkyWest has signed a definitive merger agreement under which it will acquire all outstanding ExpressJet stock for $6.75 per share in cash.

It says the agreement amounts to a net purchase price of about $133 million, taking into account shares already owned by Atlantic Southeast.

ExpressJet's parent company, ExpressJet Holdings - which has previously rejected a SkyWest takeover bid - says the transaction provides a "significant premium" over the company's market price.

"The combined airline will be able to provide a stable platform for growth for ExpressJet employees after this transaction closes," says ExpressJet chairman George Bravante.

ExpressJet adds that the tie-up is "not expected to result in material changes to operating schedules, destinations served or aircraft deployment of either airline".

Utah-based SkyWest and Atlanta-based Atlantic Southeast are both major operators of Bombardier CRJs, while ExpressJet, located in Houston, extensively uses Embraer ERJ aircraft.

Both sides' corporate boards have approved the agreement unanimously. ExpressJet says the deal - which is subject to approval from its stockholders as well as regulators - is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.