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Midwest Air says sale delayed

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(AP) - The sale of Midwest Air Group Inc. to a private equity firm has been delayed, the airline announced, because antitrust regulators want more information on the deal.

      The Milwaukee-based operator of Midwest Airlines said the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a second request for information on the sale to TPG Capital. The deal is under scrutiny because Northwest Airlines Corp. is a passive investor.

      The second request for information delays completion of the sale, valued at about $450 million in cash, for at least 30 days, Midwest said in a news release late Thursday.

      But the company said it will still go ahead with its special shareholders meeting to approve the sale on Oct. 30 in Milwaukee.

      Midwest agreed in August to be bought out by TPG for $17 a share in cash. It has about 26.6 million shares outstanding.

      The TPG deal followed months of escalating offers from rival AirTran Holdings Inc., the Orlando, Fla.-based operator of AirTran Airways.

      According to regulatory filings, Northwest is committed to paying nearly $213.3 million, or 47 percent of the deal, while TPG will pay the remaining 53 percent, or $238.1 million.

      Northwest, which emerged from bankruptcy in May, has said it would not participate in Midwest's management.

      Shares of Midwest fell 20 cents, or 1.23 percent, to $16 early Friday, while shares of Northwest were up 33 cents, or 1.71 percent, to $19.63.      

             (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)