Spirit tells shareholders to reject JetBlue’s hostile bid – Press Telegram

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Michelle Chapman

Spirit Airlines advises shareholders to reject the tender offer for shares of JetBlue three days after it was hostile to its attempt to create the fifth largest airline in the country.

On Thursday, Spirit reiterated that any attempt to merge with the New York carrier would face significant regulatory hurdles, largely due to JetBlue’s alliance with American Airlines in the Northeast. The Justice Department is suing to block the deal.

JetBlue is “in the middle of a merger with American Airlines, one of the big three they intend to compete with and then trying to buy a competitor and take a seat off the market and raise fares, and that will be a big challenge and what our board saw as insurmountable.” , – said CEO Edward Christie CNBC.

JetBlue responded on Thursday, saying a potential Spirit deal with Frontier is also under control.

“Both transactions are subject to regulatory review, and both transactions have a similar risk profile,” the company said in a statement. “Spirit shareholders recognize this and are very interested in hearing more about our excellent offer, as well as the regulatory commitments and protections we have made, including the payback.”

JetBlue offered to buy Spirit Airlines after the proposed acquisition of this carrier Frontier Airlines, a deal that Spirit supports despite the lower offer price.

On Monday, JetBlue launched a hostile bid to take over Spirit, directly asking shareholders of the low-cost carrier to vote against ties to Frontier Group Holdings Inc.

Monday’s offer from JetBlue was $ 30 per share in cash, or more than $ 3.2 billion, but said the April 5 offer of $ 33 per share was still available when Spirit entered into negotiations.

The Spirit Board rejected JetBlue’s initial bid of $ 3.6 billion on May 2.

Shareholders of Spirit, based in Miromar, Florida, are scheduled to vote on June 10 for Frontier’s offer of cash and shares worth about $ 2.9 billion when it was announced in February.

Shares of Spirit fell 2.6% before the market opened, while shares of JetBlue fell slightly.

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