Frontier says Spirit offer is ‘best and final,’ asks to delay vote again


A Frontier Airways airplane taxis previous a Spirit Airways plane at Indianapolis Worldwide Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.

Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Frontier Airlines has requested Spirit Airlines to additional delay a shareholder vote on their deliberate merger to drum up extra assist from buyers amid a bidding battle with rival suitor JetBlue Airways.

In a letter despatched to Spirit’s CEO dated Sunday, Frontier CEO Barry Biffle referred to as the airline’s lately sweetened cash-and-stock provide to mix with the man funds service its “final, finest and remaining” and raised issues a few lack of shareholder assist for the deal, first introduced in February.

Spirit has repeatedly delayed a shareholder vote on the Frontier tie-up to proceed talks with each airways and collect votes. JetBlue is providing a $3.7 billion all-cash takeover. Frontier’s CEO mentioned in his letter, “We nonetheless stay very removed from acquiring approval from Spirit stockholders.”

Biffle requested that Spirit postpone its shareholder assembly, now slated for July 15, to July 27 to permit extra time to garner votes in favor of the merger, except a majority of votes in favor of the mixture have been obtained by 11 a.m. on July 15.

CNBC final week reported that Spirit didn’t appear to have enough votes to assist the merger, in line with individuals accustomed to the matter.

“As has been the case all through this course of, we stay dedicated to this transaction,” Frontier’s Biffle wrote. “Nevertheless, ought to the Spirit Board of Administrators conclude that it will as a substitute want to pursue an alternate transaction with JetBlue, we might respect being suggested of that willpower.”

Shares of Frontier and Spirit had been every down about 1.5% in mid-morning buying and selling Monday after the letter was made public in a securities submitting. Shares of JetBlue had been down about 2.5%.

A merger between Spirit and Frontier would create a budget-carrier behemoth, although both mixture of airways would create the fifth-largest service within the U.S. behind American, Delta, United and Southwest.

Spirit has repeatedly rebuffed JetBlue’s advances, arguing a takeover by that airline could be unlikely to win approval from the Justice Division.

Frontier made the identical argument in its letter Sunday, noting a latest determination by the Division of Transportation that granted Spirit 16 extra slots at Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport and decided the airline had a aggressive benefit over JetBlue and different candidates.

“The trail to regulatory approval of a JetBlue-Spirit mixture appears extra inconceivable by the day,” Frontier mentioned in its letter.

JetBlue declined to touch upon Frontier’s letter. Its CEO Robin Hayes mentioned final week after the newest vote postponement that the service was hopeful the Spirit administrators “now acknowledge that Spirit shareholders have indicated their clear, overwhelming choice for an settlement with JetBlue.”

Spirit did not instantly remark.

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