Alaska Air Group confirmed reaching a $2.6 billion deal to buy Virgin America after a bidding war with JetBlue Airways.
“This was a hard-fought competition, and we were very happy to come away as the successful bidder,” Alaska Air CEO Brad Tilden told reporters today.
Virgin America President and CEO David Kush said he was also pleased with the deal. “The price paid is a big win for our shareholders,” he said.
The deal involves a cash purchase of Virgin America’s shares at $57 each, which is a 47 percent premium over Friday’s closing price. The merger was approved by the boards of both airlines, but still must face U.S. regulatory approval. That’s expected to be worked out by the end of the year.