JetBlue Launches Hostile Takeover Of Spirit Airlines

By Bill Galluccio

May 16, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

After getting rejected twice by Spirit Airlines, JetBlue is appealing directly to stockholders as it launches a hostile takeover of the rival airline. In April, Spirit rebuffed a $33 per share offer and said it would instead continue moving forward with a cash and stock deal it reached with Frontier Airlines in January.

"Spirit believes that merging with Frontier will enable the combined ultra-low-cost carrier business to achieve scale, improve operational reliability, have increased relevance to consumers, and do an even better job of delivering ultra-low fares to more consumers and competing more effectively against the Big Four carriers, as well as against JetBlue," Spirit said when it rejected JetBlue's offer.

JetBlue isn't ready to give up on its bid to take over and offered Spirit shareholders $30 per share while urging them to vote against the proposed merger with Frontier Airlines.

"The Spirit Board failed to provide us the necessary diligence information it had provided Frontier and then summarily rejected our proposal, which addressed its regulatory concerns, without asking us even a single question about it," JetBlue said in a letter addressed to Spirit shareholders. "The Spirit Board based its rejection on unsupportable claims that are easily refuted."

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