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Spirit Airlines Inc. rebuffed a $3.6 billion cash takeover bid from JetBlue  Airways Corp., saying a deal likely can’t be completed, and it is sticking with plans to merge with rival budget carrier Frontier Group Holdings Inc. 

JetBlue’s offer for Spirit came with a higher price tag than Frontier’s cash-and-stock offer, which was originally valued at $2.9 billion. However, Spirit’s board said it believed there was too much risk that regulators would bar a merger with JetBlue, even after JetBlue pledged to shed assets to win regulatory approval and to pay a $200 million breakup fee if it was unable to complete the proposed acquisition for antitrust reasons.

“After a thorough review and extensive dialogue with JetBlue, the Board determined that the JetBlue proposal involves an unacceptable level of closing risk that would be assumed by Spirit stockholders,” Spirit Chairman Mac Gardner said Monday.

Excerpt from WSJ
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