JetBlue Airways Corp. isn’t giving up in its pursuit of Spirit Airlines Inc. But a revamped bid raises more questions for Spirit shareholders trying to decide which offer to back.
JetBlue once again tweaked its proposal for Spirit in an effort to thwart the ultra-low cost carrier’s plans to sell itself to Frontier Group Holdings Inc. JetBlue is now offering to pay a $350 million breakup fee — up from $200 million — in the event antitrust regulators block the transaction. The move comes after Frontier amended its own proposal to add a $250 million reverse termination fee amid criticism from proxy firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. about the lack of one. But Frontier declined to rejigger the terms of its bid to bridge the wide financial gap between what JetBlue is offering. JetBlue is also proposing to pay about half of that $350 million fee upfront as a dividend payment to Spirit holders, should they vote to approve a transaction.