Frontier is buying Spirit Airlines in a $2.9 billion cash-and-stock deal that will create the nation’s fifth largest carrier.
The tie-up is valued at $6.6 billion when accounting for the assumption of debt and other liabilities.
The companies said Monday that the transaction will provide more low-cost fares for more travelers to destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Frontier Group Holdings Inc. and Spirit Airlines Inc. also anticipate $1 billion in annual consumer savings and are looking to expand their services with more than 350 aircraft on order.
In addition, Frontier and Spirit are looking to add more jobs. The companies foresee adding 10,000 direct jobs and thousands of additional jobs at their business partners by 2026.
“This transaction is centered around creating an aggressive ultra-low fare competitor to serve our guests even better, expand career opportunities for our team members and increase competitive pressure, resulting in more consumer-friendly fares for the flying public,” Spirit CEO Ted Christie said in a prepared statement.
The carriers may be in for a very close look from antimonopoly regulators. The Biden administration has signaled a tougher line against big corporate mergers. Yet airlines have suffered a devastating stretch during the pandemic despite assistance from the U.S., and are in a weakened position heading into 2022.
Existing Frontier shareholders will own approximately 51.5% and existing Spirit stockholders will own approximately 48.5% of the combined airline. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of the year. It still needs approval from Spirit shareholders.
Spirit shareholders will receive 1.9126 shares of Frontier plus $2.13 in cash for each existing Spirit share they own. This implies a value of $25.83 per Spirit share at Frontier’s closing stock price of $12.39 on Friday.
The combined company is expected to have annual revenues of approximately $5.3 billion, based on last year’s results. Its board will include seven members named by Frontier and five members named by Spirit. Frontier Chair William Franke will serve as chairman of the combined company.
Shares of Frontier, based in Denver, slipped 2.2% before the opening bell Monday. Shares of Spirit, based in Miami, jumped 12.5%.
12 travel audiobooks to let your mind wander
‘In the Weeds’ by Tom Vitale
The late Anthony Bourdain’s series “Parts Unknown” and “No Reservations” took viewers all over the world; now “In the Weeds,” a recent book by Bourdain’s longtime director, Tom Vitale, reveals what it was like to film the shows. “In the Weeds” is more than a behind-the-scenes peek — it’s a thoughtful and penetrating portrait of Bourdain, whose passion for life, curiosity about cultures and love of a great meal revolutionized the way we think about travel. Vitale, who narrates the audiobook, shares his own observations, which are every bit as evocative as what viewers saw on screen.
‘Leave Only Footprints’ by Conor Knighton
Reeling from a broken heart, CBS news correspondent Conor Knighton decided he needed a change of scenery to snap himself out of a melancholy funk. So, he spent a year visiting each of America’s national parks in the hope of distracting himself. What he discovered while traversing vast forests, mountains, glaciers, sand dunes and volcanoes gave him a newfound view on love, career, the environment and his own place in the world. Narrating the audiobook “Leave Only Footprints” himself, Knighton has a palpable sense of wide-eyed wonder that shines through in recounting his trips to more than 60 national parks.
‘Aftershocks’ by Nadia Owusu
Acclaimed author Nadia Owusu’s “Aftershocks” is a profoundly moving memoir about her nomadic childhood and the devastating effect it had on her search for identity. Abandoned by her mother, Owusu spent her younger years traveling with her father, a United Nations official. But when he died when she was barely in her teens, she found herself unmoored and virtually alone in the world. Narrating the audiobook herself, Owusu describes a life of near-constant geographic upheaval, conjuring up vivid images of Rome, New York, Ghana, Tanzania, London, Ethiopia and more.
‘We Came, We Saw, We Left’ by Charles Wheelan
In 2016, journalist Charles Wheelan and his wife Leah took a “family gap year,” exploring the world with their three teenage children. Their charming adventures navigating six continents in nine months are chronicled in “We Came, We Saw, We Left,” which often reads like a modern version of “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Combining practical travel tips and some genuinely hilarious family bonding moments, this brisk and refreshing travelogue includes visits to Machu Picchu, Cambodia, Iran and South Africa. Actor P.J. Ochlan narrates the audio edition.
‘Becoming Forrest’ by Rob Pope
Rob Pope, a veterinarian and champion marathoner from Liverpool, England, set out to complete the trans-American, cinematic run achieved by the title character in the film “Forrest Gump.” Pope’s 422-day, 15,700-mile adventure made him the first person to recreate the route traveled by Tom Hanks’ fictional character, a feat that helped raise more than $50,000 for charity. In “Becoming Forrest,” an epic fish-out-of-water tale of countless small towns across the United States, Pope recounts the kindness and humanity he encountered along the way.
‘From Scratch’ by Tembi Locke
“From Scratch” is a sparkling tribute to serendipitous love. It’s easy to see why the literary debut of actor, producer and health care advocate Tembi Locke not only earned a coveted spot in Reese Witherspoon’s book club, but is also being adapted for Netflix. This warm but heart-wrenching memoir about travel, food, family and resilience in the aftermath of loss recounts Locke’s love story with Saro, an Italian chef she met while studying abroad. The audiobook is read by the author, whose narration will make you laugh and cry, often at the same time.
‘Nine Continents’ by Xiaolu Guo
Novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo’s poignant memoir “Nine Continents” tells the story of her extraordinary journey from a small fishing village to the prestigious Beijing Film Academy to a bustling maternity ward in contemporary London where her daughter was born. Penned in painterly prose that often reads like literary fiction, she confronts her harsh childhood in China and the freedom she eventually discovers in England. Unflinchingly honest at every turn, this is a thoroughly absorbing coming-of-age story, with the audiobook narrated by voiceover actor Emily Woo Zeller.
‘The Meaning of Travel’ by Emily Thomas
Part travelogue, part philosophy text, part sociological treatise, philosophy professor Emily Thomas’ insightful book “The Meaning of Travel” will change the way you think about travel. She reflects on the long history of travel, recounts her own eye-opening excursions and asks challenging questions about the ethics of tourism and what it means to navigate the world responsibly. Perhaps the most interesting chapter focuses on travel and gender, especially restrictions that female travelers have faced. Voice artist Esther Wane narrates the audio edition.
‘Royal Holiday’ by Jasmine Guillory
Filled with characters who are both funny and relatable, Guillory’s sweet novel about a middle-aged social worker/mom who falls in love with the Queen of England’s personal secretary while on an impromptu Christmas vacation in Great Britain is the kind of bubbly fantasy that could warm even the Grinch’s heart. Narrated by voiceover artist Janina Edwards, “Royal Holiday” recalls classic cinematic romances like “Roman Holiday,” “Shirley Valentine” and “Chocolat,” but with a sexy twist. You may find yourself booking an international flight once you’ve read it.
‘Outlandish’ by Nick Hunt
Rather than explore well-trodden territory, travel writer Nick Hunt walks through some of the most unlikely terrain in Europe in “Outlandish.” The existential dread of climate change looms over Hunt’s reverence for the natural world and respect for the people he encounters on his odyssey. He has an unsurpassed ability to capture the look, sound, smell and overall atmosphere of some truly haunting landscapes within these pages, including a special opening passage about a patch of Arctic tundra in Scotland, which he narrates himself in the audiobook.
‘Travels with Charley’ by John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck’s 1962 classic “Travels with Charley” about a edifying road trip he took with his standard poodle Charley continues to inspire similar expeditions across the United States year after year. Though some of the events and dialogue were embellished for dramatic effect, the overarching narrative remains genuine and brilliant. In the Penguin Classics audiobook version, actor Gary Sinise uses an impressive assortment of voices to bring each new character to life, adding an unexpected level of depth to an already moving tale of life on the back roads and interstates of 1960s America.
‘Thrilling Cities’ by Ian Fleming
The writer who created James Bond, a well-traveled secret agent, also penned one of the most unique travel guides. Shortly after publishing the 007 novel “Goldfinger,” Ian Fleming embarked on an all-expenses-paid trip around the world to write a series of travel articles for British newspaper The Sunday Times. With an eye for intrigue, Fleming explored vibrant nightclubs, red-light districts, exquisite hotels and cosmopolitan hot spots in 13 cities. The result, “Thrilling Cities,” reads like a real-life James Bond adventure. “Doctor Who” actor Barnaby Edwards narrates the audiobook.
Recommendations are made independently, but we participate in affiliate advertising programs that may pay us commission if you make purchases at Amazon.com and other linked retailer sites.
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