Spirit Ends Agreement with Frontier, Will Pursue JetBlue Offer
Spirit Airlines today announced that it has terminated the merger agreement with Frontier Group Holdings, parent company of Frontier Airlines, Inc.
Shareholders on Wednesday voted only on the Spirit-Frontier merger, not a JetBlue takeover, though the New York-based airline spent weeks urging shareholders to turn the deal down.
The result was not a surprise. Spirit had postponed the shareholder vote on the merger four times as it struggled to gather enough shareholder support for the Frontier offer.
“While we are disappointed that we had to terminate our proposed merger with Frontier, we are proud of the dedicated work of our Team Members on the transaction over the past many months,” said Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit Airlines. “Moving forward, the Spirit Board of Directors will continue our ongoing discussions with JetBlue as we pursue the best path forward for Spirit and our stockholders.”
The New York-based airline has offered buy Spirit outright for about $3.7 billion. A JetBlue takeover of Spirit would create the country’s fifth-largest carrier. While JetBlue could likely get the votes, it still faces regulatory hurdles that could mean no deal at all.