ISS urges Spirit shareholders to vote against Frontier merger, calls for superior JetBlue bid

Terminal A of LaGuardia International Airport is for JetBlue and Spirit airlines in New York.

Leslie Josephs | CNBC

Authorized consulting firm Institutional Shareholder Services on Friday reversed its stance on Spirit Airlines‘plan to combine with Frontier Airlinesurges Spirit shareholders to vote against the deal and calls for JetBlue Airways‘all-cash bidding is a ‘out-of-the-box alternative’, another turning point in the battle for the low-cost airline.

In May, the ISS initially urged shareholders to vote against Frontier’s cash and stock combination, then in late June changed its recommendation after Frontier offered a bid that included a breakup fee. the opposite is suitable for JetBlue.

The ISS has now withdrawn its recommendation citing market volatility, energy prices and recession concerns that “could lead shareholders to conclude that the certainty of the value of the cash consideration is good.” than the potential upside of the Frontier deal.”

Frontier CEO Barry Biffle on Sunday called it latest its sweet offer”best and last“in a letter to its counterpart Spirit, and was upset about the lack of shareholder support for the deal.

Advisory firm Glass Lewis last month recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the deal.

The change comes after multiple delays in a shareholder vote on the Frontier-Spirit deal, which Spirit has delayed four times. The vote is now scheduled for July 27.

Spirit, JetBlue and Frontier did not immediately comment. JetBlue stock was up 2% in morning trading, while Frontier was up more than 1% and Spirit was about 1% higher.

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