NWA Inc., the parent company of Northwest Airlines, said today that an investor group holding 4% of its stock is exploring the possibility of a leveraged buyout of the company.
The news sent NWA’s stock sharply higher. In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange the stock soared $8 to $68.625 a share, a gain of 13.2%.
NWA has been rumored as a takeover target, partly because of its holdings of prime real estate parcels in Tokyo, the world’s most valuable market for land.
NWA did not identify the group, but signaled that it would oppose a buyout, saying its board has determined the company’s interests are best served by staying independent. In a leveraged buyout a company is taken private in a transaction financed primarily by debt.