Spirit Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: SAVE) stock jumped more than 15% in premarket trading after JetBlue Airways Corp. launched a hostile takeover bid. The move comes just days after Spirit reiterated its support for the merger with Frontier Group Holdings Inc., citing JetBlue’s $33-per-share cash bid in April as insufficient.

JetBlue has now launched a “fully financed” tender offer to purchase all outstanding Spirit shares for $30 each, a 76.7% premium to Friday’s closing price of $16.98. It is directly appealing to Spirit’s shareholders, urging them to vote against the Frontier transaction. Frontier has offered $21.66 in cash and stock for each share of Spirit Airlines, which is 60% less than JetBlue’s offer.

“The Spirit Board failed to provide us the necessary diligence information it had provided Frontier and then summarily rejected our proposal, which addressed its regulatory concerns, without asking us even a single question about it,” JetBlue said in a letter addressed to Spirit shareholders. “The Spirit Board based its rejection on unsupportable claims that are easily refuted.”

On June 10, Spirit will hold a shareholder meeting to vote on its proposed merger with Frontier.

Frontier Group Holdings Inc.’s bid would allow Spirit shareholders to retain 48.5% of the combined airline. It would give Spirit shareholders 1.9126 Frontier shares plus $2.13 in cash for each Spirit share they own.

SAVE stock was up 15.4% to $19.60 at the time of writing.


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