Advisory Firm Waffles Again, Urges Spirit Airlines to Choose JetBlue Offer

Advisory Firm Waffles Again, Urges Spirit Airlines to Choose JetBlue Offer

JetBlue Airbus A320. (photo via csfotoimages/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

An independent proxy advisory firm, chosen to help Spirit Airlines through its choice of either merging with Frontier Airlines or accepting a takeover bid from JetBlue Airways, has waffled in its decision yet again.

After initially advising in May that the JetBlue offer was the better deal, proxy firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) in June then encouraged Spirit shareholders to vote for Frontier’s offer after a series of counter bids.

On Friday, that changed again.

Multiple media outlets, including CNBC, reported that ISS is again urging Spirit stockholders to vote against the Frontier deal and for the JetBlue offer, which it called financially “superior.”

The total value of the JetBlue takeover would be almost $1 billion more than the Frontier deal.

ISS noted in its report that having the more than $33 per share payout to Spirit shareholders right now, which is what JetBlue is offering, “may lead shareholders to conclude that the certainty of value of the cash consideration is preferable to the potential upside of the Frontier deal.”

The vote itself by Spirit has been postponed four times as its CEO and Board of Directors prefer the Frontier deal and continue to lobby for votes. The new vote is scheduled to take place on July 27.

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