United, Continental merger is officially done

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Continental and United officially joined forces Friday to create the world's largest airline - and their stock jumped on its first trading day.

The $3.2 billion all-stock merger was first announced in May and received approval from U.S. antitrust investigators last month.

The combined company, which will fly under the United moniker and Continental logo, will be called United Continental Holdings. Shares of the new company began trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UAL (UAL).

The stock rose 5% on the news.

The companies plan to begin integrating immediately, but said customers will not see much of a difference until the Spring of 2011.

The new airline will operate an estimated 5,800 flights a day to 371 airports throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia, the companies said.

The combined company is estimated to have annual revenues of $31.4 billion, based on results for the 12 months ending in June, the airlines said. The merger is expected to create up to $1.2 billion in cost savings by 2013.

Under the terms of the deal, United shareholders will now own roughly 55% of the holding company and former Continental shareholders will control 45%, the companies said.

The former chief executive of Continental, Jeff Smisek, will be the new airline's CEO. The new company will be based in Chicago.

"Today's merger closing is a big first step, and I want to thank my co-workers at Continental and United for their incredible efforts to get us to this point," Smisek said in a prepared statement. "We will be working together to provide our co-workers with the right culture, tools and incentives to do their jobs well and to make them proud to work for the new United."  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,156.85 24.88 0.15%
Nasdaq 4,562.19 9.43 0.21%
S&P 500 2,001.57 2.59 0.13%
Treasuries 2.60 0.01 0.42%
Data as of 8:28pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.77 0.06 0.36%
Apple Inc 101.58 0.72 0.71%
Yahoo! Inc 42.59 -0.12 -0.28%
Microsoft Corp 46.52 -0.24 -0.51%
Alcoa Inc 16.28 0.12 0.74%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

Profit was nearly cut in half for Pier 1 Imports during the most recent quarter. More

The Federal Reserve is probably not going to raise interest rates until the summer of 2015 at the earliest. More

Apple's new HealthKit platform, set for release in conjunction with the new iOS8, has been delayed by a bug. More

Frederick Hutson launched Pigeon.ly in 2012 to help inmates communicate with their friends and family. He's on target for $1 million in sales this year. More

Occupy Wall Street offshoot Strike Debt says it has abolished nearly $4 million in private student loan debt for students who attended Everest College, part of Corinthian Colleges. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.