Business & Finance

US Airways won the OK of a federal bankruptcy court in Alexandria, Va., Friday to emerge from Chapter 11 protection, clearing the way for eventual merger with America West Holdings Corp. The carriers are the nation's seventh- and eighth-largest, respectively, and the merger could take place by month's end or in early October, reports said. US Airways' exit from bankruptcy leaves three other carriers under court protection from creditors: United, Delta, and Northwest - the latter two having filed late last week.

Exxon Mobil and the state-owned oil company of Indonesia, Pertamina, ended a lengthy dispute over the weekend and signed a preliminary agreement to share revenues from the massive Cepu field in East Java Province over the next 30 years. The deal is expected to be worth at least $2.6 billion. A senior Exxon Mobil executive cautioned, however, that the companies have only one week left to meet the deadline set by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono for finalizing a critical joint operating agreement. Exxon Mobil and Pertamina have squabbled for the past four years over the size of the share the US company should be alloted in the deal.

In an unrelated development, Garuda, the national airline of Indonesia, announced Friday that it had signed a $2 billion deal to lease 28 new passenger jets from Boeing Co. over the next eight years.

The parent of international express shipping giant DHL, Deutsche Post, is expected to offer $6.7 billion in cash and stock as soon as Monday for Britain's Exel PLC, a diversified warehousing, freight-forwarding, and just-in-time-delivery service, reports said. The two declined to comment, but they confirmed earlier this month that they've been discussing a merger. Such a tie-up would make Deutsche Post the world's largest logistics service. Analysts said its interest in acquiring Exel is motivated, in part, by the fact that it is scheduled to lose its mail-delivery monopoly in Germany in 2007. Any merger, however, would be subject to regulatory approval by the British and German governments - although the latter owns 57 percent of Deutsche Post - as well as by the European Union. Exel is based in Bracknell, England.

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