Younger Perot talks with Continental

September 04, 1991|By New York Times News Service

H. Ross Perot Jr. has held talks with Continental Airlines about a possible venture that could be put together with several foreign carriers to inject new money into the bankrupt airline.

Art Kent, Continental's vice president of corporate communications, confirmed a report in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that said Mr. Perot had held preliminary discussions with the airline. Mr. Perot is a developer whose father is H. Ross Perot, the Dallas financier.

Mr. Kent said that talks had also been held with Marvin Davis, the Los Angeles financier.

He said that neither Mr. Davis nor the younger Mr. Perot had made any proposal to Continental, which filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code in December.

Continental has had difficulty coming up with a reorganization plan that would enable it to come out of bankruptcy. The carrier, a unit of Continental Airlines Holdings, recently underwent a management shake-up when Hollis L. Harris resigned as chief executive and was replaced by Robert R. Ferguson III, who was named vice chairman and chief executive.

Mr. Ferguson has begun to reduce the size of the airline in hopes that it can better weather the fall and winter when traffic declines except during the holidays.

Mr. Perot runs the Perot Group, a Fort Worth-based company formed by his father that is developing Alliance Airport, a cargo and industrial airport in Fort Worth that is owned by the city. It is to be managed by the Perot Group, which also controls property adjacent to the airport.

The younger Mr. Perot has sought to get airlines to put some operations there. Continental has decided to build its maintenance base in Houston but has not yet selected a site for its engine maintenance operation.

Thus Mr. Perot may be seeking a way to get leverage at Continental to build the base near Alliance and bring jobs and investment to the airport.

Mr. Perot was away from his office yesterday and did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

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