by Christopher Freeburn | July 30, 2013 10:44 am
Shares of Spirit Airlines (SAVE) tumbled almost 6% in Tuesday morning trading after the firm’s chairman said he is departing the company.
On Monday, the airline announced that Indigo Partners, an investment firm controlled by William Franke, will sell 12.1 million Spirit shares, divesting a 16.6% stake in the company. Franke will leave the company’s board next month, the Wall Street Journal noted.
The departure and share sales comes after Republic Airways (RJET) revealed that it has negotiated exclusive, non-binding terms for the sale of its Frontier Airlines to an unnamed buyer. Indigo Partners had been rumored to be in contention to acquire Frontier earlier this year.
Franke purchased Spirit Airlines in 2006 and implemented a discount strategy that made the company one of the most profitable airlines. Indigo Partners has taken stakes in a number of discount airlines in Mexico, Singapore and Hungary.
Shares of Republic Airways slid more than 1% in Tuesday morning trading.
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