AirTran Expects Lengthy Process

Midwest Air takeover gaining steam but could take months, executives say

"They have their view of what the company is worth. We have our view," Gadek said before the meeting. "We just need to sit down and talk about it."

He also dismissed the notion that Midwest Air shouldn't negotiate because it views the AirTran offer as inadequate. Leonard has said the current offer is the final offer, but Gadek hinted that there might be some flexibility in that position.

"Price should not be a prerequisite to negotiations," Gadek said. "Price should be an outcome of negotiations."

Gadek and Leonard said Midwest Air's directors may be considering the threat of a shareholders lawsuit if they continue to spurn negotiations with AirTran. "They probably have thought about the downside of sitting around with their arms crossed and telling the shareholders to buzz off," Leonard said.

Carol Skornicka, Midwest's senior vice president of corporate affairs, said Wednesday that she is confident the board is meeting its obligations to shareholders.

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