JetBlue has agreed to buy Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion in a deal that would create the nation’s fifth-largest airline if approved by US regulators.
Thursday’s deal comes a day after Spirit’s attempted merger with Frontier Airlines failed. Spirit had recommended that its shareholders approve a lower offer from Frontier, saying antitrust regulators are more likely to reject JetBlue’s offer.
JetBlue said Thursday it will pay $33.50 per share in cash for Spirit, including a $2.50 per share cash prepayment payable once Spirit shareholders approve the transaction. There is also a ticking fee of 10 cents per month from January 2023 until closing.
The combined airline would have a fleet of 458 aircraft. The airlines will continue to operate independently until the transaction closes.
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