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Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) stock has plummeted lower this year after U.S. District Court Judge William Young ruled to block its merger with JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU). Judge Young argued that the merger would likely result in higher ticket fares for Spirit’s customers and that it would reduce competition within the airline industry.
Shortly after, the two airlines jointly filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. They also requested an expedited appeal process because the outside closing date of the merger falls on July 24.
JetBlue had previously filed a Form 8-K stating it might not be able to satisfy certain conditions of the merger by the outside date. It also added that it could terminate the merger on or after Jan. 28.
“JetBlue continues to evaluate its options under the Merger Agreement. Unless and until such time as the Merger Agreement is terminated pursuant to its terms, JetBlue will continue to abide by all of its obligations under the Merger Agreement.”
Spirit Airlines Eyes New Feb. 26 Deadline to Help SAVE Stock Survive
The Department of Justice is against an expedited appeal process and proposed a hearing for sometime in June, citing that the two companies could extend the outside date. JetBlue pushed back, arguing that the $3.5 billion of financing it had received would expire on July 24 unless its lenders allowed for an extension.
Today, the First Circuit Court set an initial brief deadline of Feb. 26 for both companies, while the Justice Department would have until April 11 to respond. The brief process would then be completed by April 25.
“We contemplate argument during the court’s June sitting,” read the First Circuit’s order. “Extensions will be strongly disfavored.”
Spirit Airlines has struggled to turn a profit for several years. The third quarter of 2021 was its last profitable quarter. The discount airline is banking big on a successful merger, as it reported a GAAP EPS loss of $1.44 during Q3 of 2023 compared to a loss of 33 cents a year ago.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan 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 InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.