A JetBlue Airlines aircraft takes off alongside Spirit Airlines aircraft at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on May 16, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Joe Radle | Getty Images
Spirit Airlines is postponing a shareholder meeting previously scheduled for Friday until June 30 to continue deal talks with Frontier Airlines and JetBlue Airways, as well as its shareholders, the carrier said on Wednesday.
Spirit’s announcement comes two days after JetBlue sweetened its offer for the discount airline, which has entered into a merger deal with fellow low-cost carrier Frontier since February.
Frontier and JetBlue say they see Spirit Airlines as key to their future growth. Any combination would create the fifth largest airline in the US.
Spirit repeatedly rejected JetBlue’s offers and said the acquisition was unlikely to pass regulatory scrutiny, while JetBlue claimed that both deals would be subject to scrutiny by the Department of Justice. JetBlue previously offered to sell Spirit’s assets in New York and some of its Florida assets to make the deal more attractive to regulators.
JetBlue on Monday raised its rollback offer to $350 million if the Justice Department blocks the purchase of Spirit. Last week, Frontier offered a $250 million reverse split fee payable to Spirit shareholders. if this deal is rejected by the regulators.
Spirit shareholders were due to vote on Frontier’s cash and stock deal on Friday. JetBlue urged Spirit’s shareholders to drop this merger.
Advisory firm Glass Lewis last week recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the Frontier deal, while another firm, ISS, said they should reject it.
Shares of Spirit and JetBlue fell less than 1% in premarket trading on Wednesday, while shares of Frontier were flat.
JetBlue and Frontier did not immediately respond to a request for comment.