Outgoing baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth has withdrawn his bid to buy Eastern Airlines in frustration over being outbid by Chicago hotel magnate Jay Pritzker, pilots union officials said Friday.
"They were extremely frustrated at having the rug pulled out from under them," said Farrell Kupersmith, a financial consultant to the Air Line Pilots Association.The offer by Ueberroth and principal backer J. Thomas Talbot was reported as $464 million dollars and Kupersmith said the bid by Pritzker, who resurrected Braniff in 1984, was in the $500 million range.
Pritzker, who heads the Hyatt hotel chain, still owns 10 percent of Branniff, which is moving its headquarters from Dallas to Orlando.
Eastern filed for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy code March 9, five days after the International Association of Machinists went on strike, and any deal would have to be approved by bankruptcy court. Eastern is owned by Frank Lorenzo's Texas Air Corp. of Houston.