JetBlue attempts hostile takeover of Spirit Airlines

Photo (c) Ryan Fletcher - Getty Images

JetBlue is asking Spirit shareholders to reject an 'inferior' merger deal with Frontier Airlines

JetBlue doesn't appear to be taking "no" for an answer. After Spirit Airlines rejected JetBlue's recent offer to merge in favor of a deal with Frontier Airlines, the jilted company decided to ask Spirit shareholders for their support.

In both a letter to Spirit’s board of directors and a special website designed to convince Spirit’s board, JetBlue told Spirit that it has filed a “Vote No” proxy statement that urges Spirit shareholders to vote against “the inferior, high risk, and low-value Spirit/Frontier transaction at Spirit’s upcoming special meeting.”

How badly does JetBlue want Spirit as one of its own? How about a $200 million reverse break-up fee as an incentive? 

Didn’t get a fair shake

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes rolled out everything he could to convince Spirit that it was going in the wrong direction.

“JetBlue offers more value – a significant premium in cash – more certainty, and more benefits for all stakeholders. Frontier offers less value, more risk, no divestiture commitments, and no reverse break-up fee, despite more overlap on non-stop routes and their own regulatory challenges," Hayes wrote in his letter.

The thing that apparently irritates Hayes the most is that Spirit didn’t give JetBlue a fair or equal chance.

“The Spirit Board … rejected our proposal … without asking us even a single question about it. The Spirit Board based its rejection on unsupportable claims that are easily refuted,” Hayes said.

ConsumerAffairs reached out to Spirit for a response to JetBlue’s latest move but did not immediately receive a response.

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