Magazine article American Banker

NatWest Backs Icahn TWA Bid: Leads 8 Banks in Financing for $600 Million Tender Offer

Magazine article American Banker

NatWest Backs Icahn TWA Bid: Leads 8 Banks in Financing for $600 Million Tender Offer

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- An investment group led by financier Carl C. Icahn has turned to eight banks, led by National Westminster Bank USA, to help finance its cash tender offer announced Tuesday for Trans World Airlines stock.

The banks agreed in early May to lend $200 million to ACF Industries Inc., an Icahn-controlled company that is a member of the investment group, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

So far the Icahn group has acquired 25% of the company's stock, worth about $140 million, in the open market. On Tuesday the Icahn group made a written proposal to the board of TWA in which all TWA shareholders -- other than his own affiliates -- would receive $18 per share in cash for their common stock.

The Icahn group's purchases have been loudly opposed by TWA management, which has taken out full-page advertisements to criticize Mr. Icahn and has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to intervene to prevent a takeover.

"Realistically, I don't think we would have any difficulty funding this either internally or externally," said Robert J. Mitchell, ACF treasurer.

Mr. Mitchell declined to identify the bank group, except to acknowledge that it consisted of eight members. "The bank group requested we not use their names."

Bankers, traditionally quiet about their financing of hostile takeovers, have become even shyer of late as corporate and government leaders have called on them to cut back on such activity. …

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