Shareholders approve airline merger

AP News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2011 6:41 PM
Shareholders approve airline merger

LAN and TAM are one big step closer to becoming LATAM, the largest airline in Latin America.

Shareholders of Chile's LAN Airlines S.A. approved the company's $3 billion purchase of Brazil's TAM S.A. on Wednesday, creating one of the 10 largest passenger and cargo airlines in the world. Combined, the two companies had more than $11 billion in revenue last year.

The merged company, known as LATAM Airlines Group S.A., will be led by LAN CEO Enrique Cueto as chief executive and TAM's Rolim Amaro as chairman. Relatives of both men will remain atop each family-owned airline.

The deal has been approved by Brazilian regulators and awaits the OK of Chile's Supreme Court, expected early next year.

Together, the group will have 40,000 employees serving more than 45 million customers a year, with flights to more than 115 destinations in 23 counties.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects headline to remove reference to TAM shareholders. This story is part of AP's general news and financial services.)