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ISS Recommends Spirit Shareholders Vote Against Frontier Offer


AISS report dds details, background

July 15 (Reuters)Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) on Friday recommended shareholders of Spirit Airlines Inc. SAVE.N vote against proposed deal with Frontier Group Holdings Inc CHLC.O.

Spirit had said on Wednesday it planned to delay a shareholder vote on its sale to Frontier Group for the fourth time as part of a fight to garner enough support for a deal that could create the fifth-largest US airline.

ISS reiterated its position and said watered down offer from JetBlue Airways Corp JBLU.O was “favorable” to the shareholders of Spirit. Earlier this week, Frontier declined to further increase its $2.7 billion offer.

“Frontier’s share price since the announcement of the transaction does not appear to indicate market participants’ confidence that a recovery is on the horizon,” ISS wrote in a report.

Last month, the influential consultancy echoed similar thoughts on JetBlue’s bid for the ultra-low-cost carrier, but at the time maintained its support for the Frontier deal.

Spirit has been at the center of a heated takeover battle since it first announced a deal with Frontier in February.

Although JetBlue’s $3.7 billion offer is higher, Spirit has repeatedly touted Frontier’s offer, citing higher long-term benefits and lower regulatory risks compared to JetBlue.

Spirit said it intended to push the special meeting to July 27 from July 15 after Frontier asked to postpone the vote.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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