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Spirit says no to JetBlue acquisition offer, again

May 19, 2022
3 min read
Spirit says no to JetBlue acquisition offer, again
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Spirit Airlines is asking its shareholders to reject a hostile bid by JetBlue to acquire the company and instead back its merger with Frontier Airlines.

It's the second time in as many weeks that Spirit has rejected an offer by JetBlue.

The move comes after JetBlue on Monday announced a $30 per share tender offer to acquire Spirit's outstanding shares. In a tender offer, an acquiring company approaches individual shareholders and offers to purchase their holdings at a premium. Spirit's shares closed at $19.42 on Wednesday.

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"JetBlue's tender offer has not addressed the core issue of the significant completion risk and insufficient protections for Spirit stockholders," Mac Gardner, Spirit's board chairman, said in a statement.

In rejecting the hostile bid on Thursday, Spirit laid out a number of its concerns, primarily related to regulatory approval and anti-trust matters. Analysts believe that JetBlue's Northeast Alliance with American Airlines presents a major regulatory challenge for any deal with Spirit, though JetBlue has promised to divest itself of Spirit's northeast assets — but not necessarily its own alliance with American — if it acquires the latter. Regulatory approval for Spirit's deal with Frontier is also uncertain, but many believe it has better chances than the JetBlue one.

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It's a point that JetBlue highlighted in its own statement responding to Spirit's rejection.

"Regarding regulatory approval, Spirit would have you ignore the current regulatory climate to think that approval of their Frontier deal is assured," JetBlue said. "That is simply not true."

JetBlue's original offer had been for $33 per share, and in its hostile bid, JetBlue had promised to increase its offer from $30 to $33 if Spirit started sharing more information with JetBlue. It seems likely that won't happen.

More: JetBlue now trying hostile takeover in its bid to acquire Spirit Airlines

In a Thursday appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Spirit CEO Ted Christie strongly rejected the assertion that it wasn't sharing enough information with JetBlue.

"Well [JetBlue CEO] Robin [Hayes] and I have spoken over the last month," Christie said. "And yes, I am frustrated by the commentary because to imply that our board didn't go through its diligence is a misstatement, and quite frankly it's insulting."

Spirit's merger deal with Frontier now goes to Spirit's shareholders, who will vote on it on June 10 — a vote that JetBlue is strongly urging the shareholders to vote against.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more