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Trans World Airlines Inc.’s mystery bidder, Emil Bernard, has yet to surface. But his spokesman still voices optimism about a deal despite offers for TWA from AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and financier Carl Icahn. John Scott, a spokesman for Bernard’s Global Airlines, insists that Global will be in the U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., Jan. 27 to contest the breakup fee and win St. Louis-based TWA’s assets. Bernard’s airline made a $298 million offer for the troubled carrier in November. “We’ve been told by our advisers that we have a success rate of 75 percent,” Scott said. “We’re in the war room now, and we believe we’re going to win.” Global has a $200 million line of credit, Scott claimed, ready to use to sweep the ailing TWA out of a purchase by rival American. Last week TWA tapped into $175 million of the $200 million in debtor-in-possession financing American has already offered the cash-strapped airline. Observers and participants treated Scott’s claims with some skepticism. Since first bidding for TWA last summer, Bernard has offered nothing tangible in financing, advisers or government certification. The man himself sometimes appears as elusive as Global’s credit lines and customers. TWA said in November that Global’s bid was referred to investment bankers, who deemed it unfeasible, said TWA press official Julia Bishop-Cross. TWA declined to comment on Bernard. Scott said Global has assembled a team that includes public relations firm Kekst & Co., an unnamed antitrust lawyer, a New York- and Washington, D.C.-based law firm and financial backers yet to be disclosed. New York-based Kekst said it was unaware of such a client. “We were going to use Shearman & Sterling as our law firm, but now they’re out because of a conflict,” Scott said. A press official at Shearman & Sterling said the firm has never had Global as a client. The Department of Justice was unwilling to comment. The Department of Transportation once again said that while it has spoken several times to someone claiming to be Bernard, it has never received any of the necessary filings from Global. Still, Scott insists money is not a problem. “Right now we’re waiting for clearance from the banks,” he said, adding that Bernard is still unavailable due to an arduous travel schedule and meetings with various government officials. American’s bid should have little impact on Global’s offer, Scott said. “They would be contracting the industry. That’s exactly what we don’t want to do,” he said. “And isn’t it surprising that American bid $300 million after our bid of $298 million?” Copyright (c)2001 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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