Frontier says Spirit’s proposal is “the best and final” and again asks for a delay in voting

A Frontier Airlines aircraft passes a Spirit Airlines aircraft at the Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana on Monday, February 7, 2022.

Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Frontier Airlines has asked Spirit Airlines to further delay a shareholder vote on a planned merger to garner more investor support amid a war with competitor JetBlue Airways.

In a letter sent to Spirit’s CEO on Sunday, Frontier CEO Barry Biffle called the airline’s recently sugar-coated offer to merge with another cash-and-stock low-cost carrier “last, best and definitive” and expressed concern about the lack of support from shareholders. the deal, first announced in February.

Spirit has repeatedly delayed shareholder voting on the Frontier merger in order to continue negotiations with both airlines and collect votes. JetBlue is offering a $3.7 billion cash takeover. Frontier’s CEO said in his letter, “We are still very far from getting Spirit’s shareholder approval.”

Biffle asked Spirit to postpone the July 15 shareholder meeting to July 27 to allow more time to gather votes in favor of the merger, unless a majority vote in favor of the merger is received by 11:00 am on July 15. .

Last week, CNBC reported that Spirit did not have enough votes to support the merger, according to people familiar with the matter.

“As throughout this process, we remain committed to this deal,” Frontier’s Biffle wrote. “However, if the Spirit Board of Directors decides that it would instead want to pursue an alternative deal with JetBlue, we would appreciate being informed of that decision.”

Shares of Frontier and Spirit fell about 1.5% in mid-morning trading on Monday after the letter was made public in securities filings. JetBlue shares fell about 2.5%.

The merger of Spirit and Frontier would create a behemoth low-cost carrier, although any combination of airlines would create the fifth largest carrier in the US behind American, Delta, United and Southwest.

Spirit has repeatedly rejected JetBlue’s proposals, arguing that a takeover by the airline is unlikely to get Justice Department approval.

Frontier made the same argument in a letter on Sunday, noting a recent determination The Department of Transportation, which granted Spirit 16 additional slots at Newark Liberty International Airport and determined that the airline had a competitive edge over JetBlue and other bidders.

“The road to regulatory approval of the JetBlue-Spirit combination seems more and more impossible every day,” Frontier said in the letter.

Representatives for Spirit and JetBlue did not immediately comment on the situation on Monday.

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