Spirit Urges Stockholders to Reject JetBlue Offer

Spirit Airlines once again is spurning JetBlue’s takeover offer. The low-cost carrier’s board of directors “unanimously recommends” that stockholders do not tender their shares and instead vote for the proposed merger with Frontier Airlines during a special meeting scheduled to take place June 10, the company announced Thursday.

On Monday, JetBlue submitted a revised proposal to Spirit that was $3 per share below its initial offer of $33, citing lack of due-diligence information, and filed a proxy statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that urged Spirit shareholders to vote against the Frontier deal, essentially launching a hostile takeover attempt.

Spirit, in response, again cited “regulatory hurdles” and the pending antitrust suit against JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance with American Airlines—which JetBlue is unwilling to end—as significant risks for the company should it accept JetBlue’s offer.

JetBlue issued a response that said: “Frontier offers less value, more risk, and no regulatory commitments, despite a similar regulatory profile.” It alleged that the Spirit board was driven by “serious conflicts of interest.”

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