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JetBlue launches purchase offer against Spirit Airlines

Terminal A at LaGuardia International Airport JetBlue and Spirit Airlines in New York.

Leslie Josephs | CNBC

JetBlue Airways launched a hostile bid against Spirit Airlines on Monday after the carrier rejected a $ 33-per-share bid for JetBlue this month.

JetBlue said the acquisition of Spirit will give it access to a large fleet of Airbus aircraft, giving trained pilots and the ability to better compete against the “Big Four”, which controls most of the U.S. market. Spirit declined an offer to maintain its planned merger with Frontier Airlines, saying the two airlines would allow them to grow and compete more easily.

The two combinations would make it the fifth largest carrier in the country.

JetBlu on Monday offered Spirit shareholders $ 30 per share and encouraged them to vote against the Frontier deal. The company also said a previous offer of $ 33 per share is on the table if it decides to still trade Spirit. Shares of Spirit closed Friday at $ 16.98.

“If Spirit shareholders vote against the Frontier transaction and force the Spirit Board to negotiate with us in good faith, we will work to obtain a $ 33 per share settlement transaction if we receive information to support that,” JetBlu said.

Spirit’s rejection of JetBlu’s offer last month put the New York Airlines at a crossroads. JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said a purchase of Spirit would “overload” its growth.

Spirit said earlier this month that it had rejected JetBlu’s offer because it did not believe regulators would accept the deal. It even ruled out additional conditions for JetBlue, which could alleviate regulatory concerns, including an offer to sell some of Spirit’s assets in Florida, New York and Boston. JetBlue also offered to pay a reverse breakage fee if the agreement was exceeded.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg declined to comment on the deal on Monday, saying the DOT would help the Justice Department approve any review of an agreement.

“The most important thing is to make sure people in the United States are well served by a healthy airline sector, and part of a healthy airline sector, part of any healthy sector in our economy, is healthy competition,” he said in an interview with CNBC. Squawk Box. “

Shares of Spirit rose more than 15% in pre-market trading on Monday, while those of JetBlue rose by more than 1%. Frontier shares rose about 3% before trading. Spirit and Frontier representatives did not immediately comment.

JetBlue launches purchase offer against Spirit Airlines

Source link JetBlue launches purchase offer against Spirit Airlines

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