SAVE Stock Takes Off as JetBlue Agrees to Buy Spirit Airlines

  • Spirit Airlines (SAVE) announced today that it has agreed to be acquired by JetBlue (JBLU).
  • SAVE stock is still trading well below the takeover offer.
  • The large disparity between the offer and the price of SAVE may be due to investors worrying about regulators cancelling the deal.
A yellow, Spirit Airlines (SAVE) branded airplane flying in the air
Source: Markus Mainka /

Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) stock is in the spotlight today after the company announced that JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) has agreed to buy Spirit. JetBlue will buy the airline for $3.8 billion, or $33.50 per share. News of this deal is now sparking gains in SAVE stock. Shares are up more than 4% so far.

Both JetBlue and Spirit are discount airlines. If the merger successfully closes, they will become the fifth-largest airline in the States and the country’s “largest discount carrier,” according to CNBC.

Here’s what investors should know moving forward.

SAVE Stock: Frontier Lost the Bidding War

Yesterday, Spirit Airlines announced that it had “rebuffed” a takeover offer from Frontier (NASDAQ:ULCC), another discount airplane operator. Frontier first started trying to buy Spirit back in February, improving its bids a number of times to keep up with JetBlue’s proposals.

Before yesterday, multiple sources had said owners of SAVE stock would not vote to approve Frontier’s takeover offer. Frontier CEO Barry Biffle also believes JetBlue has agreed to pay too much for Spirit Airlines.

As of this writing, ULCC stock is soaring 20% so far today.

Regulatory Worries

Still, many analysts and commentators — and Spirit itself — have expressed worries that JetBlue’s takeover offer may be opposed by U.S. regulators.

Last month, Reuters reported that “Spirit […] has been skeptical of the deal clearing the antitrust hurdle.” This is because of JetBlue’s Northeast “alliance” with American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) “which has been sued by the Justice Department.” These doubts likely explain why SAVE stock still trades far below the value of JetBlue’s takeover offer.

Probably seeking to persuade regulators to approve the takeover, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said today that the deal would result in what “could be one of the biggest things in the last decade or so in helping the industry in the U.S. remain competitive.” However, Hayes also admitted the combination would trigger “a significant amount of regulatory scrutiny.”

On the date of publication, Larry Ramer did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 15 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been PLUG, XOM and solar stocks. You can reach him on Stocktwits at @larryramer.

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