NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Delta Air Lines said Monday it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining 78 percent of Comair Holdings Inc. it doesn't already own for $1.8 billion, or $23.50 per share cash.
Shares of Comair Holdings (COMR), parent company of Comair and the No. 2 U.S. regional airline, climbed 5 to 22-15/16 in midday trading.
Delta, which also announced quarterly earnings Monday, said the deal will improve customer service, enhance the use of regional jets and strengthen the airline's financial performance.
Under terms of the agreement, a Delta subsidiary will make a tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Comair Holdings common stock. Comair has 95.5 million shares outstanding, of which Delta currently owns 21.1 million, or about 22 percent.
Delta said the deal will result in "minimal, if any, job reductions."
Delta (DAL) shares rose ¼ to 50-3/8 in early afternoon trading.