Frontier Airlines has presented a new offer for a merger with rival low-budget airline Spirit. The significantly improved bid comes just days ahead of the scheduled vote of Spirit shareholders that will decide the fate of the company.
Frontier is now offering $4.13 per share, which is $2 more than their original offer. They are also upping the proposed reverse break-up fee to $350 million compared to the previous $250 million. Finally, Frontier also committed to a pre-payable $2.22 to shareholders of Spirit.
It has been a back-and-forth battle between Frontier and JetBlue for a chance to acquire Spirit. JetBlue has been particularly aggressive in its attempts, sweetening the deal multiple times. Frontier doing the same should now even the playing field.
Regardless of the route Spirit shareholders take, the end result will be the fifth-biggest airline in the United States. At the moment, there is much more support for the Frontier and Spirit merger than the JetBlue and Spirit. Ted Christie, the CEO of Spirit, has been in favor of the Frontier deal, believing that it will have an easier path to confirmation by U.S. regulators. Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) now shares his view as well after previously favoring JetBlue’s offer.