Spirit Airlines plans June vote on Frontier merger bid
Spirit Airlines shareholders are due to vote on June 10 on a $2.9 billion takeover bid from Frontier Airlines. Shareholders will, in effect, vote on whether to accept Frontier’s offer and reject a superior offer from JetBlue Airways.
The special meeting was detailed in regulatory filings by Spirit and Frontier. JetBlue did not immediately comment on Wednesday. Spirit’s board is backing Frontier’s deal amid uncertainty over JetBlue’s ability to win approval for its $3.6 billion bid from antitrust regulators.
Spirit shareholders would get more cash from JetBlue’s offer. However, Frontier’s proposal would give Spirit shareholders 48.5% of the shares of the combined airline, meaning they could come out on top if the value of the new company’s shares increases.
Frontier and JetBlue say acquiring Spirit would help them compete with the country’s four dominant airlines.
JetBlue would eliminate Spirit as a so-called ultra-low-cost airline, unlike Frontier. Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice and several states are already filing lawsuits to block a regional JetBlue partnership with American Airlines on the grounds that it lessens competition.