Spirit Airlines Chairman to Resign Amidst Speculation About Bid to Buy Frontier
Franke’s private equity firm, Indigo Partners, has been in the forefront of the financing and development of ultra low cost carriers such as Spirit. Republic Airways Holdings has been trying to sell Frontier Airlines, which has been taking on the characteristics of an ultra low cost carrier, for some time. That’s feeding speculation about Franke’s involvement with Frontier.
The chairman of Spirit Airlines Inc. plans to resign in August as funds affiliated with private equity firm Indigo Partners LLC divest their stake in the company, the carrier announced on Monday.
William A. Franke, chairman of the board of Spirit Airlines, plans to resign at the company’s next board meeting, scheduled for August 7. John R. Wilson, a director, also plans to resign at that time.
Their resignation will come as investment funds affiliated with Indigo divest their stake of roughly 12.07 million shares of common stock in Spirit Airlines. Barclays is acting as the sole underwriter for the public offering of the common stock.
The board of Spirit Airlines plans to elect H. McIntyre Gardner, a director since 2010, as the new chairman of the board.
Representatives for Spirit Airlines and Indigo were not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Chris Gallagher)