Spirit Airlines (S64) (SAVE) shareholders have approved a $3.8 billion merger agreement with JetBlue Airways.
The deal must now be approved by federal regulators, with both airlines expecting to complete the deal and the related transaction by the first half of 2024.
The results of the preliminary voting reflected that “more than 50% of the outstanding shares of Spirit common stock voted in favor of the transaction,” Spirit Airlines (S64) (SAVE) revealed in its JBLU</a>)/default.aspx”>statement, which was published on October 19, 2022.
“The final voting results of the special meeting, as tabulated by an independent inspector of elections, will be filed on a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,” the low-cost carrier added.
Spirit Airlines (S64) (SAVE) chief executive Ted Christie said the deal was “an important step forward on our path to closing a combination that will create the most compelling national low-fare challenger to the dominant U.S. carriers.”
“We look forward to continuing our ongoing discussions with regulators as we work toward completing the transaction and delivering value to team members, guests, and stockholders,” Christie added.
Estimated annual revenues of up to $11.9 billion
The Spirit Airlines (S64) (SAVE)-Frontier Airlines-JetBlue Airways merger saga finally came to an end in July 2022, when the airline agreed to a deal with JetBlue Airways.
The news was confirmed by JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes on July 28, 2022. According to Hayes, the merger “turbocharges” the strategic growth of JetBlue (JBLU) and allows the carrier to offer its “unique blend of low fares and exceptional service to more customers, on more routes”.
JetBlue (JBLU) will acquire Spirit for $33.50 per share in cash, including a prepayment of $2.50 per share in cash payable upon Spirit stockholders’ approval of the transaction and a ticking fee of $0.10 per month starting in January 2023 through closing.
“In the event the transaction is consummated on or before December 2023, the transaction consideration will be $33.50 per share, increasing over time to up to $34.15 per share, in the event the transaction is consummated at the outside date in July 2024,” JetBlue (JBLU) said.
Once the acquisition process is completed, JetBlue (JBLU) expects to achieve up to $700 million in net annual synergies and accelerate its organic growth plan with more than 1,700 daily passenger flights to over 125 destinations across 30 countries.
The merger is also expected to help JetBlue (JBLU) to increase its relevance in key focus cities, such as Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando (MCO), San Juan (SJU), Los Angeles (LAX), and Las Vegas (LAS) as well as Dallas (DFW), Houston (HOU), Chicago (ORD), Detroit (DTW), Atlanta (ATL) and Miami (MIA).
The new airline is expected to merge fleets, eventually operating 458 all-Airbus planes with more than 300 Airbus jets in its order book.
JetBlue (JBLU) projects that the combined airline will reach annual revenues of approximately $11.9 billion.