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P.M. BRIEFING : NWA Buyout Gaining, Checchi Says

<i> From Times wire services </i>

More than 99% of NWA Inc. shares have been tendered to the investment group proposing to buy the parent of Northwest Airlines for $3.65 billion, Los Angeles investor Alfred Checchi said today.

Checchi’s group, Wings Holdings Inc., said it was extending the $121-a-share tender offer to 2 p.m. PDT today while it awaits early termination of the waiting period required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act. Wings said it was seeking to have the waiting period end today instead of its scheduled expiration on Wednesday.

The investment group also said it hopes to finalize today the financing required for the takeover.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Airlines pilots’ union and NWA were expected to resume contract talks today with the help of Josh Javits, chairman of the National Mediation Board. An agreement with the pilots is considered crucial to Checchi’s plans to acquire the airline because a strike could impair his ability to generate enough cash to pay for the NWA acquisition, which will total more than $4 billion.

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