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On American Airlines’ hesitancy on considering a merger with US Airways before emerging from its own bankruptcy procedure? A giant payday. American Airlines’ new chairman and CEO Tom Horton and his management team stand to receive somewhere between $300 million and $600 million if he can make it through bankruptcy court without merging first with a rival like US Airways.

In an odd twist of the bankruptcy process, airline management teams have typically managed to extract 5 percent to 10 percent of the company’s shares for themselves upon exiting Chapter 11, with the C.E.O. often getting 1 percent. AMR is expected to be valued at as much as $6 billion if it exits bankruptcy independently, analysts estimate.

American Airlines and US Airways Dance Around a Merger – NYTimes.com.