Sun | Jun 26, 2022

Rebuffed by Spirit, JetBlue goes hostile in takeover bid

Published:Monday | May 16, 2022 | 11:19 AM
A JetBlue airplane is shown at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, March 16, 2017. JetBlue is going hostile in its bid for Spirit Airlines and asking shareholders of the low-cost carrier to reject a proposed $2.9 billion acquisition by Frontier Airlines. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

JetBlue is going hostile in its bid for Spirit Airlines and asking shareholders of the low-cost carrier to reject a proposed $2.9 billion acquisition by Frontier Airlines.

JetBlue, in going straight to shareholders with its offer Monday, wants to push Spirit's board to the negotiating table.

Shares of Spirit, based in Miramar, Florida, jumped 12% in early trading.

JetBlue pitched a new offer of $30 per share in cash to Spirit stockholders but said its previous offer of $33 per share is still available if Spirit enters negotiations.

Spirit's board rejected JetBlue's $3.6 billion offer on May 2, saying antitrust regulators are unlikely to approve an offer from the New York City airline largely because of its alliance with American Airlines in the Northeast.

The Justice Department is suing to block that deal.

Shareholders of Spirit Airlines Inc. are scheduled to vote June 10 on the Frontier bid favoured unanimously by the Spirit board.

JetBlue said Monday that Frontier's offer is high risk and low value.

It made its initial buyout bid for Spirit on April 5, offering $33 per share in cash.

JetBlue said Monday that the new, lower offer is based on Spirit's unwillingness to share information that JetBlue requested.

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