UAL, Continental may announce merger today

United Airlines parent UAL Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc may have agreed to merge in a stock exchange deal valued at $3.7 billion according to early reports now in circulation.  If true the deal would create the world's biggest carrier.

United and Continental would take the top spot ahead of Delta Air Lines.

Reports suggest that the deal may have been approved by the boards of the respective airlines yesterday. It is likely to be announced today.

On merger the combined equity value of the company may be about $8.3 billion.

The airlines went into merger talks last month, taking off from where they broke off two years ago.

It is being suggested that United's name and its Chicago headquarters would be retained, while Continental chief executive officer Jeff Smisek, 55, will become the CEO and United's Glenn Tilton, 62, will be chairman.