JetBlue Airways Ups Offer For Spirit To $33.50 A Share

JetBlue Airways said Monday it had boosted its takeover offer for Spirit Airlines to $33.50 as it works to convince the ultra-low cost carrier to accept its offer over rival Frontier Airlines’ proposal.

Spirit said last week it was in talks with JetBlue over its offer and expected to decide on the proposal by June 30. JetBlue said its proposal represents a 68% premium to the implied value of the Frontier stock and cash transaction.

The new proposal includes what JetBlue termed a “stronger divestiture commitment” to complete the Spirit deal but does not include abandoning JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance with American Airlines.

JetBlue has made several attempts to purchase its low-cost rival in the last several weeks. The company’s interest in this deal was summarized by JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes earlier this month, when a letter to investors stated that “Combining JetBlue and Spirit would create a true national competitor to the dominant legacy carriers, delivering low fares and a great experience for more customers, more opportunities and good paying jobs for crew members, and more value for stockholders.”

However, Spirit’s board has repeatedly rejected the advances stating that they “believe a combination of JetBlue and Spirit has a low probability of receiving antitrust clearance so long as JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines remains in existence…”

Related: Spirit Airlines Rejects JetBlue Offer, Claiming Antitrust Issues

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