Will The United Buyout Still Fly?
For John Neff, United Airlines' second-largest shareholder, it was the final 2% that broke the camel's back. Neff, the manager of Vanguard/Windsor Fund, says he will vote his 9.7% stake against the rejiggered $4.1 billion buyout of United. Originally, that deal called for employees to get a 53% equity stake in return for $5 billion in wage and benefit concessions. But last month, UAL sweetened the deal, raising employee ownership to 55%. Neff says the move "ruined my vacation." He won't be able, acting by himself, to defeat the deal, which is likely to be submitted to a shareholder vote in July. Alliance Capital Management, now UAL's largest holder with 12%, still supports the buyout, sources say.