AirTran Extends Midwest Tender Offer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Discount air carrier AirTran Holdings Inc. on Thursday said it plans to nominate three directors to the board of takeover target Midwest Air Group Inc., and has extended its cash-and-stock bid for the airline.

AirTran has offered to buy Milwaukee-based Midwest for $13.25 a share, or $345 million, but Midwest has so far rejected AirTran's overtures.

The deadline for the bid, originally due to expire Feb. 8, has been extended until March 8. As of Wednesday, about 39,000 shares of Midwest common stock had been tendered under the offer.

The tendered shares amount to less than 1 percent of Midwest's 18.6 million shares outstanding, according to the most recent quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AirTran said it would nominate Jeffrey Erickson, Charles Kalmbach and John Albertine as directors to Midwest's board at the airline's next annual meeting of shareholders.

Erickson recently retired as president and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. and continues as a member of its board. Before joining Atlas, Erickson was president and CEO of Trans World Airlines, the president and CEO at Reno Air, and president and Chief Operating Officer at Midway Airlines.

Kalmbach recently concluded his tenure at DBM Inc., (Drake, Beam, Morin), as president and CEO. Previously he served as Princeton University's first senior vice president for administration.

Albertine is the chairman, CEO and founder of Albertine Enterprises, an economic consulting and merchant banking firm located in Washington, D.C. He previously served as CEO of JAM Shoe Concepts.