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JetBlue launches hostile takeover bid for Spirit Airlines


LaGuardia International Airport Terminal C for JetBlue, Spirit Airlines in New York.

Leslie Josephs | CNBC

JetBlue AirwaysA hostile takeover bid was launched Spirit AirlinesJetBlue rejected JetBlue’s earlier in the month, $33-per-share all-cash offer.

Spirit turned down the proposal to merge with a fellow discounter. Frontier Airlines. JetBlue stated that it would acquire Spirit to have access to an extensive fleet of Airbus aircraft, pilots trained and be able to compete with the U.S. “Big Four” airlines. most of the U.S. market.

JetBlue sent Monday’s letter to Spirit shareholders, offering $30 per share. It also encouraged them to reject the Frontier deal. JetBlue also stated that its previous offer of $33 per shares is still available if Spirit chooses to negotiate. Spirit’s shares were closed at $16.98 on Friday.

JetBlue stated that if Spirit shareholders reject Frontier’s transaction, they will force the Spirit Board into negotiations with them in good faith. “We will negotiate for a consensual transaction at $33 each share subject to receipt of the supporting information.”

Spirit stated earlier in the month that it rejected JetBlue’s proposal because it did not believe it would be approved. JetBlue also suggested some tweaks that could have helped ease regulatory concerns. One example was an offer to sell certain assets of Spirit in New York, Florida and Boston. JetBlue has also offered a reverse-breakup fee.

Premarket trading on Monday saw Spirit shares rise more than 14%, and JetBlue’s share prices fall by about 1%. Frontier shares increased by about 3% before market. Frontier and Spirit representatives did not immediately respond to our inquiries.