JetBlue has announced that it has “enhanced” its proposal to acquire low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines.
The deal would amount to $33 per share, offering what JetBlue called “both superior financial value and greater certainty” than a competing offer by low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines.
“By creating a national competitor to the Big Four airlines, this transaction would deliver meaningful benefits for customers, superior value for shareholders of both airlines, and new opportunities for our combined crewmembers,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer of JetBlue. “We have confidence that we can complete this transaction to bring more low fares and great service to more customers. A JetBlue-Spirit combination will deliver enhanced financial strength and accelerate revenue growth and profitability for JetBlue shareholders.”
“Spirit shareholders would be better off with the certainty of our substantial cash premium, regulatory commitments, and reverse break-up fee protection,” Hayes said.
JetBlue says a combined JetBlue-Spirit airline would “create a more compelling low-fare competition to challenge the Big Four airlines,” which control more than 80 percent of the US market.
Both airlines have been rapidly expanding in the Caribbean in recent years, particularly Spirit, which continues to add new routes across much of the region, primarily out of cities like Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as JetBlue’s financial advisor on the offer.