Midwest/Northwest/TPG Deal Approved


Midwest Airlines said Wednesday that Justice Department regulators had closed their investigation of the Northwest/TPG acquisition of Midwest. The deal is expected to close today.

Midwest said trading of its shares on AMEX is expected to conclude today as well. Shareholders of record will be notified of the process to surrender their stock for $17 a share in cash.

Winners in this transaction? Institutional shareholders of MEH who got in when the stock was less than a couple of bucks. Not to mention Tim Hoeksema and his management team, who kept their jobs, and who will no doubt walk away from what remains of MEH at some point with nice financial packages.

Oh, and AirTran.

Yes, AirTran is a winner here. No matter what Joe Leonard might think. Or say. The airline is much better off having not gone through with a deal here.

Losers? Employees of Skyways, Midwest’s regional airline, and, as time goes by, employees of Midwest, because I think we all know why this deal was done. It was done as a defensive play by Northwest to keep AirTran out of its backyard. What happens from this point with Midwest is not really all that important – except in relation to how it benefits Northwest.

Ticker: (AMEX:MEH), (NYSE:NWA),(Nasdaq:AAI)