Frontier Airlines asks Spirit to delay shareholder vote, says not enough votes

Frontier CEO Barry Biffle asked to delay the vote until at least July 27

Frontier Group Holdings Inc., is asking Spirit Airlines to delay the shareholder vote on a potential deal to merge the two budget carriers as it tries to buy more time to garner support.

Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said in a letter made public on Monday that his airline is "very far" from winning approval by Spirit shareholders, who are weighing a higher-priced buyout offer from JetBlue Airways, and asked to delay the vote until at least July 27. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ULCC FRONTIER GROUP HOLDINGS 4.25 -0.07 -1.62%
SAVE SPIRIT AIRLINES INC. 3.19 +0.11 +3.57%

"We remain very far from obtaining approval from Spirit stockholders based on the proxy data we received as of July 8," Biffle said in the letter to Spirit CEO Ted Christie and general counsel Thomas Canfield. 

SPIRIT EXPANDING AT NEWARK AIRPORT AMID MERGER TALKS WITH JETBLUE, FRONTIER

The shareholder vote was scheduled for Friday after being delayed multiple times. Just last week, Spirit announced that it was postponing the vote on the proposed merger with Frontier for a third time in order to continue talks with both Frontier and JetBlue. 

Spirit and Frontier in bidding war

A Frontier Airlines airplane taxis past a Spirit Airlines aircraft at Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.  (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

JetBlue has made several proposals to acquire the nation's largest budget carrier since Frontier announced its deal with Spirit in February and its intention to "create America’s most competitive ultra-low fare airline." 

Spirit’s board has stood behind the deal it struck with Frontier since then. However, JetBlue made it clear it isn't backing down, even after its initial $3.6 billion takeover bid was rejected.

In a letter to the budget carrier's board of directors, JetBlue said that it remains "fully committed to acquiring Spirit." 

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Biffle said Monday that Frontier has already submitted its "last, best and final offer with respect to the pending merger." 

If Spirit changes its mind and supports the JetBlue bid, Biffle said Frontier would waive its right to match the offer. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.