Delta Air Lines Inc. on Tuesday moved to reward employees for their loyalty in beating back a hostile takeover, pledging $480 million in stock and cash to its workers upon its exit from bankruptcy.

The Atlanta-based air carrier, which intends to emerge from Chapter 11 protection as soon as May, intends to distribute to its 39,000 nonunion workers 3.5 percent of its outstanding stock, which is expected to have an initial value of about $350 million.

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