Spirit Airlines, a bidding war target, postpones buyout vote

Spirit Airlines, the target of a budget airline bidding war, is postponing a Friday vote on whether to accept one of those buyout offers after a flurry of counter proposals from JetBlue and Frontier Airlines

ByAssociated Press

June 08, 2022, 8:05 AM

FLE – A line of Spirit Airlines jets sit on the tarmac at the Orlando International Airport on May 20, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. The bidding war over Spirit Airlines continues, with JetBlue raising its offer for the discount carrier just days after Frontier boosted its bid. Spirit shareholders are also scheduled to vote Friday on Frontier’s offer. JetBlue said Monday, June 6, 2022 that it would now provide a $350 million reverse break-up payable to Spirit if a deal between the two isn’t completed for antitrust reasons. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

The Associated Press

Spirit Airlines, the target of a budget airline bidding war, is postponing a Friday shareholder vote on whether to accept one of those buyout offers after a flurry of counter proposals from Frontier Airlines and JetBlue.

The decision Wednesday to postpone a vote comes two days after JetBlue improved its offer.

The Miramar, Florida, carrier had scheduled a special shareholders meeting at the end of the week asking investors to sign off on what has been its preferred offer, from Colorado’s Frontier Airlines.

JetBlue has offered more money than Frontier, but Spirit has rejected those bids saying that any such tie-up would faces a greater likelihood of being shot down by federal regulators.

The bidding war for Spirit has heated up in the past few days, with JetBlue attempting to allay concerns that the U.S. would block its acquisition.

The New York airline on Monday offered a $350 million reverse break-up fee payable to Spirit if a deal between the two isn’t completed for antitrust reasons, topping its previous contingency plan by $150 million.

Last month, JetBlue went hostile in its attempt to buy Spirit, taking its offer directly to shareholders of the airline. Spirit CEO Ted Christie has said that JetBlue is more interested in breaking up a deal with Frontier than it is in owning Spirit.

Spirit’s stock dipped slightly before the market open, while shares of JetBlue rose slightly.

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