Spirit Airlines has delayed — for a fourth time — a key shareholder vote on its proposed merger with Frontier Airlines, and by extension a hostile offer from JetBlue Airways.
The vote will now occur on July 27, nearly two-weeks later than the current July 15 date. Frontier CEO Barry Biffle asked Spirit to delay the vote on July 7, saying the airline’s offer was “very far” from shareholder approval.
In a letter to staff Wednesday, Spirit CEO Ted Christie acknowledged that the delay was in response to Frontier’s request. “There has been no change to our position at this time — the Spirit board has reiterated its commitment to the Frontier transaction and strongly recommends stockholders vote for the merger,” he said. Christie added that discussions continue with both Frontier and JetBlue.
JetBlue has wooed Spirit shareholders with its larger upfront cash offer for Spirit. The New York-based airline is offering a total of nearly $3.8 billion in cash for the carrier, whereas Frontier’s cash-and-stock offer totaled roughly $2.4 billion on June 27, according to a recent Raymond James analysis. Biffle, in his July 7 letter, said the airline does not intend to up its offer.