Alaska Air Group Inc said on Monday that it had agreed to buy Virgin America Inc. for 2.6 billion dollars to expand its flights on the U.S. West Coast.
Alaska Air made this known in a newsletter issued on Monday which stated that the merged airline would become the fifth largest in the U.S.
It added that it would help it compete against larger rivals for lucrative business and international travelers visiting San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as Seattle, where the company is based.
The acquisition will herald the first U.S. commercial airline merger since U.S. Airways and American Airlines combined in 2013 to form the world's largest carrier.
Alaska's offer of 57 dollars per share in cash represents a premium of about 47 per cent to Virgin's Friday's close Including, Virgin America's debt and aircraft lease obligations, the transaction value amounts to about 4 billion dollars, according to the release.
The deal will generate 225 million dollars in annual benefit once the companies are fully merged, while one-time integration costs are expected to be between 300 million dollars and 350 million dollars, Alaska Air said. (Reuters/NAN)