Spirit postpones Frontier deal vote to end of July

Frontier CEO Barry Biffle requested more time to garner support from Spirit shareholders

Spirit Airlines agreed to push its shareholder vote on the Frontier deal again in order to give the airline more time to garner support from Spirit shareholders. 

Spirit, the nation's largest budget carrier, announced Wednesday that it will postpone Friday's vote to July 27 after Frontier CEO Barry Biffle expressed concerns in a letter addressed to Spirit CEO Ted Christie and general counsel Thomas Canfield, which was made public Monday. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SAVE SPIRIT AIRLINES INC. 24.02 -0.24 -0.99%
ULCC FRONTIER GROUP HOLDINGS 11.12 -0.13 -1.16%
JBLU JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP. 8.37 -0.24 -2.79%

In the letter, Biffle said the company's "offer delivers significantly greater value to Spirit stockholders" compared to the offer from rival bidder JetBlue. Still, he admitted that the company remains "very far" from obtaining approval from Spirit stockholders and asked for "additional time to solicit additional voting proxies in favor of the transaction." 

FRONTIER AIRLINES ASKS SPIRIT TO DELAY SHAREHOLDER VOTE, SAYS NOT ENOUGH VOTES

Spirit and Frontier in bidding war

A Frontier Airlines airplane taxis past a Spirit Airlines aircraft at Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.  (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

This marks the fourth time the meeting has been postponed, giving Spirit more time to weigh Frontier's deal to combine both budget carriers and JetBlue's higher-priced buyout offer. 

The battle for the airline kicked off after Frontier announced its deal with Spirit in February to "create America’s most competitive ultra-low fare airline." In April, Spirit received the first of many offers from JetBlue to acquire all the outstanding common stock of Spirit Airlines Inc. 

Although Spirit’s board has stood behind the deal it struck with Frontier, JetBlue made it clear it isn't backing down, even after its initial $3.6 billion takeover bid was rejected.

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In a June letter to the budget carrier's board of directors, JetBlue said that it remains "fully committed to acquiring Spirit." 

Jetblue joined bidding war in April

A JetBlue airliner lands past a Spirit Airlines jet on taxi way at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on Monday, April 25, 2022.  (Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Both carriers have urged Spirit stockholders in recent months to reject the competing offer. 

Frontier said its deal with Spirit is expected to "drive enhanced value for shareholders of both companies" and add "10,000 direct jobs and thousands of additional jobs at the companies’ business partners by 2026."

JETBLUE UPS ANTE FOR SPIRIT

Similarly, JetBlue is also arguing that "combining JetBlue and Spirit would create a true national competitor to the dominant legacy carriers, delivering low fares and a great experience for more customers, more opportunities and good paying jobs for Crewmembers and Team Members, and more value for stockholders." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.