JetBlue has announced that it has submitted a decisively superior proposal to the Board of Directors of Spirit to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Spirit.
The further improved proposal, which was submitted at the request of Spirit’s Board and following completion of JetBlue’s diligence review and discussions with Spirit’s management team, is an update to JetBlue’s previous proposals (dated March 29, 2022, April 29, 2022, and June 6, 2022, respectively) and is structured to maximize value and certainty for Spirit and its stockholders, with terms including:
Increased price of $33.50 per Spirit share: JetBlue’s proposal continues to offer Spirit stockholders a superior, all-cash premium. The increased price of $33.50 per Spirit share represents an improvement of $2.00 per share or 6.3% compared to JetBlue’s June 6 proposal, and a 67.6%1 premium to the implied value of the Frontier transaction as of June 17, 2022.
Stronger divestiture commitment: JetBlue’s June 20 proposal includes a significant enhancement to its prior proposals through an obligation to divest assets of JetBlue and Spirit up to a material adverse effect on the combined JetBlue-Spirit, with a limited carve-out to this divestiture obligation for actions that would be reasonably likely to materially and adversely affect the anticipated benefits under JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance. This commitment significantly increases the divestitures JetBlue would be willing to commit to making in order to obtain regulatory approval and meaningfully exceeds the divestiture commitment from Frontier.
In addition to the improved terms, the proposal continues to include commitments from previous proposals that were well received by Spirit stockholders:
Reverse break-up fee: JetBlue would continue to offer a reverse break-up fee of $350 million, or $3.20 per Spirit share2, payable to Spirit in the unlikely event the transaction is not consummated for antitrust reasons. This represents an increase of $100 million, or $0.91 per Spirit share, compared to the reverse break-up fee Frontier agreed to on June 2.
Accelerated prepayment of $1.50 per share: JetBlue would prepay $1.50 per share in cash to Spirit stockholders promptly following the Spirit stockholder vote approving the combination between Spirit and JetBlue. As a result, Spirit stockholders would receive total aggregate consideration of $33.50 per share in cash, comprised of $32.00 per share in cash at the closing of the transaction and the prepayment of $1.50 per share in cash.
Divesture commitment in New York and Boston: JetBlue’s proposal continues to include a proactive offer to the U.S. Department of Justice of a remedy package that contemplates the divestiture of all Spirit assets located in New York and Boston so, as a result of the transaction, JetBlue will not increase its presence in the airports covered by the Northeast Alliance, as well as gates and related assets at Fort Lauderdale.
“After discussions with the Spirit team last week and further due diligence review, we are more convinced than ever that a JetBlue-Spirit transaction would create a true national competitor to the Big Four and deliver value to all of our stakeholders,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “Together, we will deliver lower fares and a better experience to more customers.
“Our previous proposal was met with an extremely positive reaction from Spirit stockholders, and we believe they will be even more pleased with these improved terms, including additional regulatory commitments that reflect our confidence in our ability to obtain antitrust approval and are a direct result of our diligence. We are ready to move quickly to reach a merger agreement, bringing more value to shareholders, more competition to the industry, and more opportunities, including JetBlue’s incredibly strong culture and commitments to our Crewmembers, as we welcome Spirit Team Members into the JetBlue family.”