DALLAS – The seemingly never-ending story of the Spirit Airlines (NK) purchase rumbles on with the company’s shareholders now set to vote on JetBlue’s US$3.8bn take-over bid (B6).
According to NK’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the vote will take place on October 19.
Spirit’s take-over story began in February when Frontier Airlines (F9) made an offer to purchase the carrier. But on April 5, B6 submitted an unsolicited counteroffer. Despite F9 seemingly being the preferred suitor, it canceled its bid on July 27. The B6 offer was finally accepted hours later, after being revised four times.
Big Four Competitor
Frontier CEO Ted Christie later explained that the merger could create “the most compelling national low-fare challenger to the dominant US carriers.”
Even if shareholder approval is granted, the take-over will need to be approved by antitrust regulators. With a fleet of 458 aircraft and an order backlog of over 300 Airbus jets, the combined airlines would create the United States’ fifth biggest carrier after American Airlines (AA), Delta Air Lines (DL), Southwest (SW), and United Airlines (UA).
JetBlue hopes the purchase will enable the new airline to become a dominant force against the “Big four” US carriers. “We are excited to deliver this compelling combination that turbocharges our strategic growth, enabling JetBlue to bring our unique blend of low fares and exceptional service to more customers on more routes,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue CEO.
Featured Image: The vote by NK shareholders will take place on October 19. Photo: Otto Kirchof/Airways