David Bonderman Flies High And Against The Wind

Continental is only one of the Texas dealmaker's contrarian coups

When David Bonderman, a Texas dealmaker, led a $450 million recapitalization of Continental Airlines in 1993, there were enough skeptics to fill a 747. The airline was in bankruptcy court--for the second time. The airline industry was losing billions of dollars. And Bonderman himself was a little known quantity. He had earned a good reputation working for billionaire Robert M. Bass. But now he was on his own, and Continental was his first deal.

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