NWA, US Airways join airlines raising fares

Northwest Airlines and US Airways said they increased most domestic round-trip airfares by $20, joining the three largest U.S. carriers in boosting ticket prices to help offset rising fuel costs. Delta Air Lines announced an increase early this week, and American Airlines and United Airlines followed suit. The price of jet fuel has surged 52 percent this year. If the current increase remains in place, it will be the eighth time since Sept. 1 that major U.S. carriers have raised ticket prices. The increase by Eagan-based Northwest doesn't apply to routes where it competes directly with discount carrier Southwest Airlines, Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski wrote in an e-mail.


Pinnacle buys back all Northwest's shares

Pinnacle Airlines said that it bought back the last 2.49 million of its shares held by Northwest Airlines, the commuter carrier's former owner, for $32.9 million. The move completes a stock repurchase program begun in May. Northwest's 12 percent stake had made it Pinnacle's second-largest investor, behind Goldman Sachs Group Inc., at 13 percent. Memphis-based Pinnacle was spun off from Northwest in 2003, and it now flies regional routes for its former parent, as well as for United Airlines and US Airways. Northwest still holds the company's Class A preferred stock, which Pinnacle said it plans to buy next month.


Humana completes acquisition of KMG

Humana Inc. said that it completed its acquisition of KMG America Corp., an Minnetonka-based life and health insurance company, for $187.7 million in cash and debt. Humana, a managed-health-care company based in Louisville, Ky., said KMG shareholders will receive $6.20 in cash for every share they hold, and at closing, Humana repaid $15 million of debt and assumed an additional $35 million. Humana doesn't expect the acquisition to affect 2007 earnings but said the deal's impact is already included in the 2008 full-year per-share earnings estimate of $5.30 to $5.50.