Saying that JetBlue Airways’ newest offer to purchase Spirit Airlines does not address regulatory concerns or deliver great value, Spirit on Monday again recommended to shareholders that they vote for the merger with Frontier Airlines.
JetBlue has desperately been trying to acquire Spirit, and on Monday issued its third upgraded offer.
Spirit stockholders are scheduled to vote on the two proposals on Thursday, June 30. An independent proxy advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services, originally recommended shareholders vote for the JetBlue takeover but changed its mind and now supports the Frontier merger.
“The latest offer from JetBlue does nothing to address our Board’s serious concerns that a combination with them would not receive regulatory approval,” Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit, said in a statement, referring to JetBlue being sued by the Department of Justice over its Northeast Alliance deal with American Airlines.
“That unsolved issue, combined with the fact that their offer is still substantially below the potential $50 per share or more of value that we expect will result from a merger with Frontier, affirms our analysis that our merger agreement with Frontier provides more value and certainty to our stockholders.”
Spirit has asked JetBlue to abandon its deal with American, but JetBlue has declined.
“While we have engaged with JetBlue for weeks and provided them a level playing field on which they could make their best offer, unfortunately they have now turned to scurrilous rhetoric instead of a substantive improvement in their offer,” Christie said in the statement. “We are focused on proceeding with our agreement with Frontier, and we appreciate the continued support of ISS and Glass Lewis as well as the feedback from many stockholders who intend to vote in support of the transaction.”