Jan. 07, 2006

Disney getting $50 mil from United Airlines

WASHINGTON -- United Airlines won court approval Friday to pay $150 million to settle billions of dollars in claims from aircraft leasers, including Walt Disney Co. United, a unit of UAL Corp., has said the settlement provides a "tremendous" boost to the airline's bid to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings early next year. A bankruptcy judge in Chicago approved the settlement over the objections of United's unsecured creditors. The creditors argued the payment was too generous to Disney and would "unfairly" reduce the pool of United assets available to them. United offered to pay the $150 million to the financiers to compensate them for tax benefits they lost when the airline rejected leases on Boeing jets in its fleet. The payment to Disney, at $50 million, is the largest. Disney, which got into the aircraft-leasing business partly because of the tax benefits, sought to recover money it said it was owed under a so-called tax indemnity agreement with United, according to court documents. (Dow Jones)