Spirit Airlines aircraft. (photo courtesy of Spirit Airlines)
Spirit Airlines announced its stockholders approved the merger agreement with JetBlue Airways during a special meeting on Wednesday morning.
Preliminary voting results showed that more than 50 percent of the outstanding shares of Spirit common stock voted in favor of the transaction. The final voting results of the special meeting will be filed on a Form 8-K with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals. Spirit and JetBlue expect to conclude the regulatory process and close the transaction no later than the first half of 2024.
“This is 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,” Spirit CEO Ted Christie said. “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.”
In April, JetBlue revealed its $3.8 billion all-cash offer for the discount airline, a move that came after Frontier Airlines initially offered a cash-and-stock merger deal. Stockholders voted against the Frontier deal and moved forward with the JetBlue proposal.
The deal will be heavily scrutinized by federal regulators, as there are already questions about how the partnership could harm competition and increase prices for travelers. JetBlue’s partnership with American Airlines in the Northeast is currently being challenged in court by the U.S. Justice Department.
In September, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) sent a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg asking that the regulatory agency block the JetBlue acquisition of Spirit.
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