DHL Airways Misses June 30 Takeover Target

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DHL Airways Inc. did not meet its June 30 deadline for completing its acquisition by a group led by John Dasburg, its chairman and chief executive. But the company said that the deal is not in danger.


Dasburg, who now owns 5 percent of the airline; Richard C. Blum of San Francisco's Blum Capital Partners and Michael R. Klein, a Washington business executive and lawyer, are trying to buy the remaining shares of DHL Airways from Idaho private investor William A. Robinson, who owns 75 percent of the company's voting shares. The U.S. arm of DHL International, a Brussels-based subsidiary of Deutsche Post, owns the rest.


According to reports, Sanford Litvack, an attorney representing DHL Airways, said in a letter filed June 30 with the U.S. Department of Transportation that the completion "has been postponed," without offering an explanation.


The cost of the transaction is expected to be $57 million. DHL Airways also said that upon completion of its acquisition it will change its name to AStar Air Cargo Inc.


The deal also needs approval from the Department of Transportation, which is investigating whether DHL Airways violates laws limiting how much a foreign entity can hold in a U.S.-based airline. The investigation was sparked by complaints from FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service that a complex web of subsidiaries hides Deutsche Post's ownership of DHL, which in turns controls DHL Airways.


U.S. Judge Ronnie Yoder has ordered DHL to produce detailed copies of contracts, aircraft lease agreements, management documents and other paperwork going back 3 1/2 years in advance of a hearing scheduled for Aug. 19. He also said he would proceed with the review despite the proposed sale of the company to Dasburg's group.


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