JetBlue buys Spirit for $3.8B, forming fifth-largest U.S. airline

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JetBlue is buying Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion, creating the nation's fifth-largest airline.

The agreement, announced Thursday, comes a time aft Spirit's effort to merge with Frontier Airlines fell apart.

JetBlue volition get Spirit for $33.50 per stock successful cash, including a prepayment of $2.50 per stock successful currency payable erstwhile Spirit stockholders o.k. the transaction. There's besides a ticking interest of 10 cents per period starting successful January 2023 done closing.

The Frontier connection for Spirit was worthy much than $2.6 cardinal successful currency and stock, acold abbreviated of JetBlue's all-cash bid.

"We judge we tin uniquely beryllium a solution to the deficiency of contention successful the U.S. hose manufacture and the continued dominance of the Big Four," JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said successful a connection successful a notation to American, United, Delta and Southwest. "By enabling JetBlue to turn faster, we tin spell head-to-head with the legacies successful much places to little fares and amended work for everyone. 

The combined bearer volition person a fleet of 458 craft and adhd much than 1,700 regular flights to much than 125 destinations successful 30 countries.

The statement ends a months-long conflict for Spirit betwixt JetBlue and Frontier. New York-based JetBlue mounted a furious run to person Spirit shareholders to cull the Frontier offer. It worked — forcing Spirit's committee to postpone a ballot connected the Frontier connection 4 times.

JetBlue expects $600 cardinal to $700 cardinal successful yearly savings erstwhile the transaction is complete. Annual gross for the combined institution is anticipated to beryllium astir $11.9 billion, based connected 2019 revenues.

The woody inactive needs the required regulatory approvals and support from Spirit's stockholders. The companies expect to reason the regulatory process and adjacent the transaction nary aboriginal than the archetypal fractional of 2024.