Spirit will continue to pursue a merger with Frontier instead of JetBlue – Emma Roth

Spirit’s deal with Frontier will make the combined airline the fifth largest in the US. | Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Spirit Airline’s board of directors has rejected JetBlue’s bid to acquire the airline and will proceed with its existing merger agreement with Frontier, one of its ultra-low-cost competitors, Spirit announced in a press release. A deal with JetBlue has “a low probability of receiving antitrust clearance” and poses “an unacceptable level of closing risk” to its shareholders, Spirit notes.

After Frontier first announced its plans to buy Spirit in a cash and stock deal valued at $2.9 billion in February, JetBlue followed up with an all-cash offer of $3.6 billion last month. The airline even offered to throw in a $200 million breakup payout in case antitrust issues prevented the deal from going through. Despite all this, Spirit still…

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