Spirit Airlines sets shareholder vote on sale to JetBlue

Nikhil Goswami

Spirit Airlines has scheduled a shareholder vote on JetBlue’s proposed $3.7 billion acquisition of Spirit for Oct. 19.

Investors who owned Spirit shares on Monday will be eligible to vote, the airline said in a securities filing.

The sale would still need approval from U.S. antitrust regulators, a process that is expected to take several months.

Spirit’s board approved a sale to JetBlue on July 28. Spirit leaders preferred a merger with Frontier Airlines, but that stock-and-cash deal, worth far less, failed to gain enough support from Spirit shareholders.

JetBlue leaders believe that buying Spirit will give their airline enough heft to be a more formidable challenger to the dominant U.S. carriers: American, United, Delta and Southwest.

The addition of Spirit’s fleet would result in New York-based JetBlue having around 450 planes and make it the fifth-largest U.S. airline.

Spirit shares were nearly unchanged at $22.93 in afternoon trading Tuesday, well below JetBlue’s offer of $33.50 per share plus a ticking fee to cover the time regulators need to review the deal.

Spirit started as a charter operator and now operates as a so-called ultra-low-cost carrier that has low fares but adds more fees than conventional carriers. It is based in Miramar, Florida.

Source: https://newsroom.ap.org/detail/SpiritAirlinessetsshareholdervoteonsaletoJetBlue/e0d1ff35b4ecbcb85d9b945c975aff19/text?hpSectionId=ff884fb82ad64a13abb877cb9905729a&st=hpsection&mediaType=all&dateRange=Anytime&totalCount=3&currentItemNo=0

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