Spirit Airlines Asks Shareholders To Reject JetBlue’s Tender Offer

Spirit Airlines’ board on Thursday urged its shareholders to reject JetBlue Airways’ hostile takeover attempt, citing regulatory hurdles and accusing the airline of trying to derail its planned merger with fellow discount carrier Frontier Airlines.

JetBlue launched its hostile takeover bid on Monday after Spirit earlier this month rebuffed its surprise $33-a-share, all-cash acquisition offer. The tender offer from New York-based JetBlue was for $30 a share. JetBlue urged Spirit shareholders to turn down the combination with Frontier at a June 10 Spirit stockholders meeting.

Spirit’s board reviewed that offer and said in a statementThursday that it determined it “is NOT in the best interests of Spirit and its stockholders.”

“Spirit believes JetBlue’s proposals and offer are a cynical attempt to disrupt Spirit’s merger with Frontier, which JetBlue views as a competitive threat,” Spirit said.

Frontier and Spirit in February announced a $2.9 billion cash-and-stock deal to combine into a discount airline behemoth. All three airlines fly Airbus narrow-body planes, with dozens more on order. Either combination of the airlines would create the fifth-largest US carrier.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.