Frontier has always 'seemed' to be the front-runner in its (literal) bid to acquire Spirit Airlines, even with JetBlue breathing down its (Frontier's) neck with aggressive offers of their own.
Now, according to a report by CNBC, Spirit has delayed its vote for a 4th time as it's reported they are having trouble getting shareholder support.
“We still remain very far from obtaining approval from Spirit stockholders,” Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle was quoted. He said the cash-and-stock offer that Frontier recently made was their “best and final” bid.
Biffle is asking for a delay of the vote until July 27th.
Shareholders Leaning Towards Wanting JetBlue as Their Partner?
Spirit agreed to delay the vote, and said they will continue talks with both carriers to find the best partner.
Could it be that Spirit shareholders have already made up their mind and want to dance with JetBlue?
JetBlue CEO Robyn Hayes seemingly thinks it's likely:
“JetBlue is now standing ready to enter into a binding merger agreement with Spirit as soon as practicable,” Hayes said in a statement.
Spirit Will Have to Pony Up $94 Million If They Refuse Frontier's Offer
That's right: 94. Million. It's a breakup fee (you know...like a divorce settlement except in this case they never got married) if Spirit takes an offer from JetBlue.
Spirit originally was very hesitant to even consider a JetBlue offer because of fears the deal wouldn't be approved by regulators, especially with the JetBlue tie-up with American Airlines called the Northeast Alliance.
A Deal With Either Carrier Will Create The 5th Largest Airline
Enough said right there. There is a huge amount at stake here (more advantageous gate slots, cheaper flights, etc...)
I also don't believe Frontier's Biffle saying they've made their final offer.
He'll be ready to throw down more semolians if he's forced to.