Spirit Airlines Postpones Frontier Merger Vote

Spirit Airlines has postponed a special meeting initially scheduled for June 10 in which stockholders were to vote on a proposed merger agreement with Frontier Airlines, the carrier announced Wednesday. The meeting now will take place June 30.

The delay comes two days after JetBlue submitted a second revised takeover proposal for the low-cost carrier and allows the Spirit board of directors to “continue discussions with Spirit stockholders, Frontier and JetBlue,” according to Spirit.

“We welcome this development as a necessary first step toward genuine negotiations between the Spirit Board and JetBlue,” said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes in a statement. “Spirit shareholders are clearly urging the Spirit Board to engage with us constructively and provide us with the same information previously made available to Frontier so that we can reach a consensual transaction.”

Spirit “remains bound” by the terms of the merger agreement with Frontier, and the carrier’s board has not determined that JetBlue’s unsolicited tender offer or its updated proposal constitutes a “superior proposal,” as defined in the merger agreement with Frontier, according to Spirit .

Frontier announced its bid on Feb. 7 to purchase Spirit for $2.9 billion in cash and stock. JetBlue made a competing bid on April 5 for $3.6 billion in cash. Spirit’s board rejected the JetBlue offer on May 2, but JetBlue launched a hostile takeover bid on May 16 with a revised proposal and filed a proxy statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that urged Spirit shareholders to vote against the Frontier merger offer at the June 10 meeting.

One of the key sticking points for Spirit is JetBlue’s partnership with American Airlines, dubbed the Northeast Alliance, and the carrier’s belief that the US Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against the partnership could result in the merger failing to receive regulatory approval.

RELATED: JetBlue Offers Second Revised Takeover Proposal

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