CNBCSpirit Airlines delays vote on Frontier deal again amid concerns about lack of shareholder support

July 13, 20220

Passengers check in at the Spirit Airlines counter at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on February 07, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Spirit Airlines has delayed a vote on its planned tie-up with Frontier Airlines for a fourth time as concerns mount about a lack of shareholder support.

Spirit said Wednesday it now plans to hold the vote, most recently scheduled for Friday, on July 27 so it can continue deal talks with Frontier and with JetBlue Airways, whose competing bid for Spirit has thrown the original deal into question.

Over the weekend, Frontier Airlines’ CEO, Barry Biffle, wrote to his Spirit counterpart to ask for a delay of the vote.

“We still remain very far from obtaining approval from Spirit stockholders,” Biffle said in the letter.

In the event Spirit breaks its deal, first agreed to in February, and finds JetBlue’s offer superior, Spirit would owe Frontier a breakup fee of more than $94 million.

Spirit previously rebuffed JetBlue’s all-cash takeover offers, even in light of repeatedly sweetened terms, in favor of the original Frontier deal. But it most recently said it is negotiating with both airlines, raising doubts about the fate of the tie-up with Frontier.

JetBlue and Frontier didn’t immediately comment Wednesday.

Either combination of airlines would create the fifth-largest U.S. carrier.

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