Northwest Airlines is expected to derail any proposed merger between Continental Airlines and UAL’s United, the Financial Times reported people familiar with the matter as saying.
Northwest holds a ‘golden share’ in Continental which gives it the right to veto any deal involving the carrier until 2025, unless it pursues a merger of its own.
Northwest executives are likely to oppose any deal that leaves the carrier as a smaller player in a consolidated industry, the FT sources said.
United has been a vocal proponent of the need for consolidation and has retained Goldman Sachs to assess its options after emerging from three years of bankruptcy protection last February.
It has held talks to assess the willingness of both Delta Air Lines and Continental to accept a merger plan, though negotiations are not yet advanced.