Don Carty Making A Comeback

FrugalFlyerv2.0

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FYI,
This appeared in the Toronto Star today, eh.
Any thoughts / comments?

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May 19, 2004. 06:32 AM
Air Canada investors wait in wings
Onex, Teachers Pension Plan named
Donald Carty brings group together

RICK WESTHEAD
BUSINESS REPORTER

Canadian Donald Carty, who resigned last year as chairman of American Airlines' parent company, has assembled a group of investors who are poised to save Air Canada if its tentative financiers abandon the airline.

Onex Corp. — which has failed in two attempts in the past five years to buy Air Canada — the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, and U.S.-based private equity firm Texas Pacific Group LP are among Carty's prospective partners, said a source close to the airline's restructuring.

Carty has been in contact in recent weeks with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), which is Air Canada's last holdout union and represents 5,900 reservation and call-centre agents.

"It would be a pleasure to work again with Mr. Carty," CAW official Gary Fane said last night.

Carty, 57, ran American Airlines' parent AMR Corp. from 1998 until April, 2003, when he resigned under pressure after failing to disclose to the airline's unions hefty management bonuses and pension safeguards.

The perks came as he was asking workers to approve large pay cuts. AMR employees ultimately accepted $1.8 billion (U.S.) in annual concessions, but Carty, a former official with Canadian Pacific Airlines in the 1980s, was subsequently ousted.

According to a source familiar with the matter, Carty would replace embattled Robert Milton as Air Canada's chief executive.

The revelation of Carty's interest in Canada's largest airline came as CAW president Buzz Hargrove promised rival investors remain hungry to pump millions of dollars into Air Canada, should prospective saviours abandon the insolvent carrier.

"I talked to a financier today that was willing to come in Wednesday if this thing doesn't come together," Hargrove said at a press conference last night.

He identified the investor as Greenbriar Equity Group LLP, a Rye, N.Y.-based private equity firm with airline expertise. Managing partner Gerald Greenwald is the former chair and CEO of UAL Corp., parent company of United Airlines.

Greenwald couldn't be reached to comment.

An official with another Air Canada union said Hargrove may have taken Greenwald's intentions "out of context."

Ron Fontaine of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents more than 10,000 Air Canada mechanics and baggage handlers, said the IAMAW has met twice in two weeks with Greenwald. However, the former airline official isn't interested in investing the billions needed to finance new Air Canada jetliners. Instead, Fontaine said, Greenwald's indicated an interest in investing in Air Canada, perhaps committing as much as $250 million to become an equity partner.

Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank promised to guarantee the sale of $850 million worth of stock in a reorganized Air Canada, but demanded the carrier finalize $200 million in annual pay and benefits cuts — the final part of a $1.1 billion package of concessions the unions agreed to a year ago.

General Electric Capital Corp.'s aircraft-leasing unit has also threatened to quash its agreement to finance $1.8 billion worth of new Air Canada planes if the unions balk.

"The CAW's own membership must be getting a bit antsy," said Karl Moore, a McGill University professor who follows the airline industry. Hargrove followed Air Canada's latest offer yesterday with a counter-offer, insisting there's still a "huge gap between where we're at and where they're at."

"We're still meeting and still talking," he said.

The CAW says its members shouldn't have to give up more than $18.3 million in annual pay cuts. The airline, which originally asked for $50 million in savings, yesterday lowered its demand to $45 million.

While the union said that amounts to a pay cut of about $11,000 per member, an Air Canada spokesperson last night said the CAW wasn't required to accept only pay cuts. Its members could, for example, accept unpaid lunches instead of paid mid-shift breaks, according to one airline proposal.

Air Canada has agreements with its six other large unions worth roughly $150 million in savings a year. The airline has also garnered about $120 million in annual savings through management cuts, largely through layoffs and early retirement.

Hargrove yesterday repeated his complaint that the federal government should be playing an active role in the Air Canada imbroglio, instead of insisting on a "private-sector solution."

Airline analysts have speculated that if talks with the CAW collapse and Deutsche Bank and GE abandon their plans, Prime Minister Paul Martin's government will have to choose whether to stand by as Air Canada falls into liquidation, a move that could hurt Martin and the federal Liberals in an election expected next month.
 

LaBradford22

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May 15, 2003
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If I recall correctly, about 4 or 5 years ago, Carty and AMR were some of the biggest supporters of Onex's bid to buy Air Canada. So, this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to anyone.
 
OP
F

FrugalFlyerv2.0

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LaBradford22 said:
If I recall correctly, about 4 or 5 years ago, Carty and AMR were some of the biggest supporters of Onex's bid to buy Air Canada. So, this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to anyone.
Correct,
The plan was for Onex/AMR to buy CP and AC, merge the 2 into 1 (AC) and then take AC out of * alliance into 1world.
AC challenged the decision in court on the basis that AMR/Onex would as a single entity control more of the airline than allowable by law, the court agreed and Onex withdrew thier bid.

Onex has a reputation for buying troubled companies on the cheap and turining them around, but I wonder, even with Carty if this is more than they can handle - Onex has never bought an airline before.
 

funguy2

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I thought that Don Carty was involved with Hawaiian Air CEO John Adams' bid to take control of Hawaiian Air? (Adams lost control in BK to a trustee who is shopping the airline around to 13 potential investment parties.)

Nice to know he seems to be actively looking for a job...
 

AAmech

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FrugalFlyerv2.0 said:
Correct,
The plan was for Onex/AMR to buy CP and AC, merge the 2 into 1 (AC) and then take AC out of * alliance into 1world.
AC challenged the decision in court on the basis that AMR/Onex would as a single entity control more of the airline than allowable by law, the court agreed and Onex withdrew thier bid.
Your pretty close but AMR was not going to be a buyer. AMR was going to be a financier of the deal but would not be an owner. AMR was going to benifit by bringing AC into oneworld and dumping their position in loser Canadian.
 

jimntx

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Don Carty at the head of AC? :shock: :shock: :shock: What did those poor people at Air Canada do to tick off God that way? I've heard of retribution before, but geez, couldn't he just break his promise about the flood instead? :p
 

local 12 proud

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Mar 5, 2004
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seem's to be the norm, rape and pillage one company, walk away with millions and move on to the next. when will labor in this country grow some backbone and put a stop to this nonsense? :rant: