Indianapolis-based Republic Airways will soon issue five million shares of stock at between $14 and $16 each in its third attempt to take the company public, according to a prospectus filed last month with the SEC. The estimated $67 million IPO would help the company finance large commitments for new regional jets, the most recent involving a firm order for 13 Embraer 170s with options on another 37, twelve of which it plans to convert by July 1. Signed to fulfill a new code-share partnership with United Airlines, the Embraer 170 deal came just weeks after the company converted options on 16 ERJ-145s for use in subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines’ Delta Connection network.
Plans for Republic’s first IPO fell apart as a result of 9/11, when share prices
of all U.S. airlines plummeted. It filed again in March 2002, but conditions didn’t improve as quickly as management had hoped, prompting another delay. Now, after signing a new code-share contract with United and agreeing to more flying for Delta, Republic stands to build on last year’s 33-percent increase in revenue and twofold jump in profits, creating the most favorable conditions yet for raising capital. Republic will trade on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “RJET.”