Icahn's Tar Baby

TWA has proved nothing but trouble for the investor and may not be long for the skies

To celebrate his victory in the hostile takeover battle for Trans World Airlines in August 1985, corporate raider Carl Icahn donned a pilot's cap and uniform jacket and paraded triumphantly around his Manhattan office. The parade didn't last long. Plagued by labor strife, mounting losses and bruising competition, TWA became more of a financial straitjacket for the erstwhile wizard than the trophy he had envisioned. In recent years, as he struggled to keep the now bankrupt carrier aloft, Icahn groped for a graceful way to bail out. Despite near frantic efforts, he was unable to find a willing buyer or merger...

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