Alaska Airlines Buys Virgin America For $4 Billion
Alaska Air Group announced that they acquired Virgin America for $4 Billion, creating the fifth-largest airline in the United States.
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines beat out New York’s JetBlue for Virgin America, one of the most popular airlines in the Bay Area. Virgin is the second biggest airline out of San Francisco International Airport.
From the press release:
Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK), parent company of Alaska Airlines, and Virgin America, Inc. (NASDAQ: VA) today announced that their boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement, under which Alaska Air Group will acquire Virgin America for $57.00 per share in cash. Including existing Virgin America indebtedness and capitalized aircraft operating leases, the aggregate transaction value is approximately $4.0 billion. With an expanded West Coast presence, a larger customer base, and an enhanced platform for growth, Alaska Airlines will be positioned to provide more choices for customers, increase competition and deliver attractive returns to investors.
The combination expands Alaska Airlines’ existing footprint in California, bolsters its platform for growth and strengthens the company as a competitor to the four largest U.S. airlines. Combining Alaska Airlines’ well-established core markets in the Pacific Northwest and the state of Alaska with Virgin America’s strong foundation in California will make Alaska Airlines the go-to airline for the more than 175,000 daily fliers in and out of Golden State airports, including San Francisco and Los Angeles.