Wild Frontiers

While Southwest’s initial $113 million bid for Frontier triggered a flurry of speculation over Frontier’s future, and upped compeititon with the first bidder Republic, in reality Frontier’s reorganization process has drawn lots of singificant interest.

Republic’s CEO Bryan Bedford made that comment on an earnings call yesterday before Southwest dropped the news of its bid.

As Republic starts the process of evaluating a counter-bid Bedford had no illusions the acquiring Frontier would be easy. “I’m sure it will be complicated process,” he said, depending on the bidders that emerge and their plans for Frontier.

While Southwest executives commend Republic for being a well-managed company, they feel Southwest is simply “a bigger airline than Republic”, which translated into more resources “to bring to bear in the marketplace”.

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While Southwest is just starting due diligence on Frontier, what we do know is if Southwest is successful the Frontier brand, which is hugely popular in the local Denver market, goes away.

It will be interesting to watch the approach both the bankruptcy court judge and the creditors committee use when evaluating the best offers. How important is it to keep the current level of competition intact in Denver?

Whatever the outcome Southwest says it is “in it to win”.   

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