AMR and US Airways Said to be Closer to Merger

A decision could be announced early next month, sources say.

American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. are moving closer to a merger, and a decision could come early next month, people familiar with the matter said.

Teams from each carrier are discussing how to combine departments, including personnel, compensation and severance, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details are private. AMR’s board will meet Jan. 9 to decide whether to go ahead, with an announcement possible within days, said the people. The talks may yet be scuttled or delayed, they said.

Bond Rally

Investor optimism about a merger also has helped fuel a rally in AMR debt. The $460 million of 6.25 percent convertible notes due October 2014 traded yesterday at 84.75 cents on the dollar, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The notes traded at 17.75 cents after AMR’s bankruptcy filing on Nov. 29, 2011.

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