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Thu, Mar 15, 2007

Northwest Shareholders Fight Reorganization Extension

Say Airline Has Had More Than Enough Time On Matter

Now it's our turn... or it should be, anyway. Some shareholders in bankrupt Northwest Airlines are fighting the carrier's request to extend the exclusivity period on its Chapter 11 reorganization plan.

The Associated Press reports that period is set to lapse Friday -- after which time other parties may submit their own plans to bring Northwest out of bankruptcy. As Aero-News reported, lawyers for the Eagan, MN-based airline have asked for an extension until June 29 -- which, not by coincidence, is around the time Northwest expects to exit Chapter 11.

This week, a group of shareholders told a New York bankruptcy judge Northwest has already had 18 months to sort itself out, and asked that the extension be tossed out. The investors are concerned Northwest's plan doesn't adequately explore what the airline would be worth if Northwest chose to merge with another airline while still in Chapter 11.

"All indications point to consolidation among the legacy airlines, but the Debtors refuse to exploit this opportunity," the shareholders wrote. "Terminating exclusivity -- and allowing all qualified bidders and plan proponents due diligence -- will ensure that the estate does not lose this opportunity."

A hearing on the matter is set for Thursday.

FMI: www.nwa.com

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