Hedge Fund, American Airlines Agree On Debt Deals

Nov 9 2012 | 10:18am ET

A hedge fund and the parent of American Airlines have agreed to a truce.

Marathon Asset Management yesterday dropped its demand for an independent look at AA's books when the airline's parent, AMR Corp., agreed not to junk potential clawback claims on debt deals between the two sides.

AMR went into bankruptcy protection a year ago and is mulling its options. The company then moved to refinance about 200 of its aircraft in an agreement that Marathon feared would bar the clawback claims it had already won AMR's agreement to preserve. The refinancing saw $2.26 billion in debt moved from AMR's American Eagle division to AA itself.

While AMR dismissed that move as an "obvious litigation tactic," it obviously had no stomach for an independent examiner. The two sides revealed their new peace treaty in court yesterday.

Marathon says it owns more than $100 million in AMR debt. It is unclear whether the hedge fund hopes to see AA emerge as a stand-alone airline or if it supports a merger—US Airways is the most likely suitor—but it has been a vocal creditor during the company's bankruptcy proceedings.

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