Jetblue boosts offer for Spirit Airlines to $33.50/share (NASDAQ:JBLU)

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Update 7:30pm: Adds Spirit Airlines comment.

Jetblue (NASDAQ:JBLU) raised its offer for Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) to $33.50/share as it continues to battle with Frontier Group (NASDAQ:ULCC) for the ultra-low cost carrier.

Jetblue upped its latest bid by $2/share from its most recent offer two weeks ago. In the latest offer 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, according to a statement.

Jetblue’s (JBLU) latest and fourth offer for Spirit Airlines comes after a Spirit Airlines (SAVE) holder vote on its planned sale to Frontier was delayed to next Thursday from June 10 after JetBlue unveiled an updated bid two weeks ago.

Spirit Airlines (SAVE) confirmed receipt of a revised Jetblue (JBLU) proposal and said it will provide an update to holders ahead of its holder vote on June 30, according to a statement.

Last Tuesday, Spirit (SAVE) management remained steadfast in its preference for a tie-up with Frontier Air (ULCC), considering it a superior proposal based upon the perceived likelihood of regulatory approval.

JetBlue’s proposal on Monday included 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.

JetBlue (JBLU) said its latest proposal represents a 67.6% premium to the implied value of the Frontier (ULCC) deal with Spirit (SAVE) as of Friday.

“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,” Jetblue CEO Robin Hayes said in the statement.

See earlier this month, Spirit Airlines is a top trading idea at JPMorgan because a merger looks like a go.

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