Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK), and Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Alaska Airlines will acquire Hawaiian Airlines for $18 per share in cash, for a transaction value of approximately $1.9 billion, inclusive of $0.9 billion of Hawaiian Airlines net debt.
According to a join announcement, the combined company will unlock more destinations for consumers and expand choice of critical air service options and access throughout the Pacific region, Continental United States and globally.
The transaction is expected to enable a stronger platform for growth and competition in the US, as well as long-term job opportunities for employees, continued investment in local communities and environmental stewardship, the announcement said.
“As airlines rooted in the 49th and 50th US states, which are uniquely reliant upon air travel, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines share a deep commitment to caring for their employees, guests and communities,” according to the joint press release.
This combination will build on the two airlines and preserve both brands on a single operating platform. Airlines executives say it will also protect and grow union-represented jobs and economic development opportunities in Hawai‘i, with a combined network that will provide more options and added international connectivity for travelers through airline partners including, theoneworld Alliance.
“This combination is an exciting next step in our collective journey to provide a better travel experience for our guests and expand options for West Coast and Hawai‘i travelers,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines CEO. “We have a longstanding and deep respect for Hawaiian Airlines, for their role as a top employer in Hawai‘i, and for how their brand and people carry the warm culture of aloha around the globe. Our two airlines are powered by incredible employees, with 90+ year legacies and values grounded in caring for the special places and people that we serve. I am grateful to the more than 23,000 Alaska Airlines employees who are proud to have served Hawai‘i for over 16 years, and we are fully committed to investing in the communities of Hawai‘i and maintaining robust Neighbor Island service that Hawaiian Airlines travelers have come to expect. We look forward to deepening this stewardship as our airlines come together, while providing unmatched value to customers, employees, communities and owners.”
“Since 1929, Hawaiian Airlines has been an integral part of life in Hawai‘i, and together with Alaska Airlines we will be able to deliver more for our guests, employees and the communities that we serve,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO.
“In Alaska Airlines, we are joining an airline that has long served Hawai‘i, and has a complementary network and a shared culture of service. With the additional scale and resources that this transaction with Alaska Airlines brings, we will be able to accelerate investments in our guest experience and technology, while maintaining the Hawaiian Airlines brand. We are also pleased to deliver significant, immediate and compelling value to our shareholders through this all-cash transaction. Together, Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines can bring our authentic brands of hospitality to more of the world while continuing to serve our valued local communities.”
The transaction agreement has been approved by both boards. The acquisition is conditioned on required regulatory approvals, approval by Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. shareholders (which is expected to be sought in the first quarter of 2024), and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close in 12-18 months.
The combined organization will be based in Seattle under the leadership of Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci. A dedicated leadership team will be established to focus on integration planning.