Spirit Adjourns Merger Special Meeting

Spirit Airlines aircraft landing in Las Vegas
Tomás Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – On June 29, during the late evening, Spirit Airlines announced that it will open and immediately adjourn the Special Meeting.

Pushing the meeting back…

June 30 was pencilled to be one historical day for the North American aviation industry, where a Special Meeting was organised by Spirit Airlines for its stockholders to vote in favour of which of the two competing carriers, Frontier and JetBlue, to proceed with the merger on.

However, in light of recent discussions between the relevant involved parties, Spirit has decided that it will open and immediately adjourn the Special Meeting. This means that there will be no voting or other matters conducted on the subject.

Spirit is now expecting the Special Meeting to go ahead on July 8, at 11:00 am ET (Eastern Time).

The main reasoning behind the adjourning of the Special Meeting is to allow Spirit’s Board of Directors to continue with its discussions between both Frontier and JetBlue on the proposed merger.

The adjournment also enables more time for its stockholders to solicit proxies prior to the new re-arranged meeting date and time.

The ULCC Battle

Over the past few months, it has gotten fairly heated between all three companies surrounding the merger agreement. JetBlue have consistently insisted that their proposal is on a level playing field when compared to Frontier’s proposal with regards to both regulatory and antitrust approvals.

However, despite JetBlue’s comments with regards to the merger going ahead with itself, Frontier has in the past few days called these statements misleading.

Ultimately, it stated that the merger with JetBlue has a high chance of not being approved due to antitrust concerns, especially with its Northeast Alliance with one of the U.S. ‘Big Four’ carriers, and the countries flag carrier, American Airlines.

Not only this, but Spirit’s leadership teams have also consistently said that the merger with Frontier holds much more value in the long-term and has a much higher chance of gaining both regulatory and antitrust approvals.

The carrier’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Ted Christie, said, “The latest offer from JetBlue does nothing to address our Board’s serious concerns that a combination with them would not receive regulatory approval.”

“That unsolved issue, combined with the fact that their offer is still substantially below the potential $50 per share or more of value that we expect will result from a merger with Frontier, affirms our analysis that our merger agreement with Frontier provides more value and certainty to our stockholders.”

“While we have engaged with JetBlue for weeks and provided them a level playing field on which they could make their best offer, unfortunately they have now turned to scurrilous rhetoric instead of a substantive improvement in their offer.”

“We are focused on proceeding with our agreement with Frontier, and we appreciate the continued support of ISS and Glass Lewis as well as the feedback from many stockholders who intend to vote in support of the transaction.”

However this pans out, it will be certain to rock the North American aviation industry and is set to disrupt the market that the ‘Big Four’ carriers, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines have dominated for many years.

With the hopes of reducing air fares for customers, it should hopefully mean that even more Americans can go exploring with much more affordable air fares.

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