Spirit Airlines (SAVE) shareholders have approved JetBlue Airways (JBLU)’s $3.8 billion acquisition that would create the fifth largest US airline.
The vote comes after both sides had initially agreed on the agreement at the end of July after a long bidding war. Spirit previously announced plans to merge with Frontier before JetBlue made a competing bid.
“This is an important step in our journey to completing a combination that will create the most compelling domestic low-fare challenger to the dominant US airlines,” said Ted Christie, CEO of Spirit Airlines, in a press release. “We look forward to continuing our ongoing discussions with regulators as we work to complete the transaction and deliver value to team members, guests and shareholders.”
The deal received support earlier this month when two consulting firms advised Spirit shareholders to accept JetBlue’s offer.
The new combined airline will have 458 aircraft and will be based in Florida. JetBlue executives said expanded access to Airbus jets and pilots will accelerate growth and boost competition.
JetBlue said the combined airline would generate nearly $12 billion in annual revenue. The two airlines together have 77 million customers.
The deal is still under antitrust review. In 2021, the Justice Department sued JetBlue and American Airlines over a similar merger, calling it an anticompetitive move.
In a statement, Spirit said it expects the deal to close “no later than the first half of 2024.”
JetBlue has a market cap of $2.25 billion, while Spirit has a market cap of approximately $2.16 billion.
As of 23:24 ET Wednesday, JetBlue shares were trading at $6.96, down -$0.02, or 0.29%, while Spirit shares were trading at $19.88, up -0 $.39 or 2%.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/after-shaky-takeoff-spirit-airlines-shareholders-approve-jetblue-deal-1839705?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution After a shaky start, Spirit Airlines shareholders approve JetBlue deal