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JetBlue Airways‘ hostile takeover bid for Spirit Airlines is being waved off by both the target airline’s board and Spirit’s current merger partner, Frontier Airlines.

Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines announced a $2.9-billion merger plan in February 2022. However, earlier this month JetBlue countered with its own, $3.6-billion offer, calling it “clearly a superior proposal.”

When that was rejected by Spirit’s board, JetBlue then commenced with a hostile takeover bid, dangling a $30 per share cash offer to Spirit’s investors and urging shareholders to oppose the merger with Frontier.

“We believe that the Spirit shareholders will make their views known by voting against the Frontier offer and tendering their shares into our offer,” said JetBlue in a May 19 press statement.

Frontier appeals to Spirit shareholders

Frontier Airlines joined Spirit Airlines leaders in urging shareholders to reject JetBlue’s offer.

“We are pleased that the Spirit Board of Directors has again reaffirmed its commitment to combining with Frontier, which increases competition by bringing more ultra-low fares to more travelers and delivering substantial shareholder value,” said Barry Biffle, president and CEO of Frontier, in a press statement. “We are working with Spirit to complete our merger and create a true nationwide ultra-low fare airline to compete against the dominant ‘Big Four’ airlines and other high-cost airlines, including JetBlue.”

Biffle said the Spirit board “took the right step in urging its shareholders to reject JetBlue’s proposal and vote for the merger with Frontier.”

“We continue to believe that JetBlue is worried about increased competition and put forward a proposal for a transaction that, simply put, can’t be completed,” Biffle said. “We remain focused on moving forward with Spirit to drive competition and deliver enhanced value to all of our stakeholders.”

If the Frontier-Spirit merger goes through, the combined airline would have more than 1,000 daily flights to over 145 destinations in 19 countries.

For more information, visit Frontier Airlines.