Are Delta And United Talking Mergers? Romantic Dinners? Long Walks On The Beach?

The New York Times tells us that Pardus Capital Management, a hedge fund, has sent a letter to the management of Delta Air Lines asking it to seek a merger with UAL, the parent of United Airlines.

Pardus has Gordon M. Buthane, former CEO of Continental, playing matchmaker for the fund, which says it has “identified $585 million in savings the two big airlines.” The fund owns 2.6% of Delta.

Delta’s CEO Richard “Anybody Wanna Buy An Airline?” Anderson, seemed pleased:

“We appreciate receiving Pardus’s views on the best course for Delta’s future,” Mr. Anderson said in the statement. “We have been consistent in our public statements that Delta believes that the right consolidation transaction could generate significant value for our shareholders and employees.”

He added, “With oil at over $90 a barrel, this analysis takes on a heightened importance.”

United was shy, but open to Delta’s advances:

Jean Medina, a United spokeswoman, said: “We have said for the last four years that we believe consolidation is necessary for the industry, and others independently are reaching the same conclusion. We make decisions in the best interest of United, and we don’t comment on the opinion of one shareholder, or the actions or hypothetical transactions proposed by others.”

US Airways, Doug “I’m OK To Drive” Parker must be jealous. After Delta rejected him last year he was arrested for drunk driving and spent the night in jail.

God, this is so f*cking romantic.

Hedge Fund Seeks Delta-United Deal [NYT]

PREVIOUSLY: Delta CEO On The Prowl For Some Hot Merger Action