Alaska Air Group has escalated the bidding war for Long Beach-based Jet America Airlines, raising its tender offer to $4.50 per share, thus topping by 25 cents a share a competing bid from Delta Air Lines.
The Seattle-based parent of Alaska Airlines said its new $19.9-million offer is for all of Jet America's 4.4 million shares outstanding. Alaska Air already owns 18% of Jet America stock and has options that, if exercised, would raise the stake to 29%.
Delta spokesman William E. Jackson said the Atlanta-based carrier is "studying" its alternatives, and he would not say whether it will raise its $4.25-per-share, $18.7-million tender offer. Delta's offer expires Sept. 15, while Alaska Air said its new offer expires Sept. 18.
Jet America spokeswoman Peggy Cunningham said the carrier had no immediate comment on the new bid and remains neutral in the fray. The Long Beach airline had endorsed Alaska Air's original Aug. 6 bid of $3.25 per share, or $14 million, but withdrew its endorsement following Delta's Aug. 18 bid of $4.25 per share.