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JetBlue raises offer again in bid for Spirit Airlines


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JetBlue raises offer again for Spirit.

JetBlue Airways on Monday increased its offer to buy Spirit Airlines, raising the stakes again in a battle over the nation’s biggest low-cost airline.

JetBlue said it increased its cash offer to $33.50 per share, or more than $3.6 billion. That is an increase per share of $2 over a June 6 offer and 50 cents over JetBlue’s original April bid.


The raised offer comes less than two weeks after Spirit’s board of directors delayed a special meeting in which shareholders were scheduled to vote on a proposed merger with Frontier Airlines.

Spirit and Frontier have been in the midst of merger talks for several months in which Spirit will essentially be acquired by Frontier for $2.9 billion or $25 a share.


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JetBlue first interjected itself in April with its own unsolicited bid to buy Spirit Airlines, which was rejected the following month.

The latest move shows JetBlue has no plans to back off.

“After discussions with the Spirit team last week and further due diligence review, we are more convinced than ever that a JetBlue-Spirit transaction would create a true national competitor to the Big Four and deliver value to all of our stakeholders,” Robin Hayes, chief executive of JetBlue, said.

JetBlue’s updated proposal also includes a “remedy package” designed to allay concerns that might be raised by Justice Department officials who could sue to block the deal. JetBlue said it would sell Spirit assets in Boston and New York so any merger would not increase its presence at airports that are part of a separate alliance with American Airlines.

JetBlue has been fighting an anti-trust complaint by the US Justice Department regarding its “Northeast Alliance” with American Airlines.


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