Regionals Update: ExpressJet rejects SkyWest takeover

 - June 9, 2008, 7:16 AM

A committee composed of independent outside members of Houston-based ExpressJet’s board of directors unanimously rejected a proposal from St. George, Utah-based SkyWest to acquire the company for $3.50 per share in cash in late April. Formed specifically to evaluate the SkyWest proposal, the committee has started reviewing other alternatives, including entering talks with SkyWest and other potentially interested parties to evaluate a merger at a higher price. It also plans to review the possibility of a new capacity purchase agreement with Continental Airlines, ExpressJet’s main code-share partner. ExpressJet said the committee’s decision to reject the offer hinged on several factors, including its belief that the $3.50 proposal doesn’t reflect the fair value of the company’s stock. It also said it believes that a merger would not deliver so-called synergistic value to ExpressJet’s shareholders.

During last month’s RAA annual convention in Indianapolis, SkyWest president and COO Chip Childs declined to comment on the potential for continued negotiations, citing a confidentiality agreement.