JetBlue has filed a proxy statement and launched a website urging Spirit Airlines shareholders to vote against a proposed merger between Spirit and fellow ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines. Spirit rejected a competing purchase offer from JetBlue earlier this month, citing a low probability of obtaining antitrust clearance. According to JetBlue, its latest offer, made on May 13, is about 60 percent higher than Frontier’s bid.
“JetBlue offers more value—a significant premium in cash—more certainty, and more benefits for all stakeholders,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a letter to Spirit shareholders. “Frontier offers less value, more risk, no divestiture commitments, and no reverse break-up fee, despite more overlap on non-stop routes and their own regulatory challenges.”
Spirit announced on Monday that its board of directors would review JetBlue’s May 13 offer and advise stockholders of the board’s official position within ten business days. As previously reported by AVweb, Spirit made its merger agreement with Frontier public in February 2022. Dependent upon regulatory reviews and stockholder approval, that deal was expected to close in the second half of the year.