Republic Airways to sell Frontier for $145 million


Oct 1 (Reuters) - Republic Airways Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it would sell Frontier Airlines to privateequity firm Indigo Partners LLC in a deal valued at about $145million.

The agreement ends a two-year-long search byIndianapolis-based Republic to unload Frontier, which it boughtout of bankruptcy in 2009.

Phoenix-based Indigo will pay $36 million in cash for theequity of Frontier Holdings and assume Frontier's debt.

Republic, which provides regional service for biggercarriers such as Delta Air Lines Inc and UnitedContinental Holdings Inc, has been restructuringFrontier over the past year to lower its costs.

Indigo is led by co-founder William Franke, who was chairmanof low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines Inc.

"We endorse and will support continued efforts to buildFrontier into a leading nationwide ultra-low cost carrier,"Franke said in a statement. "As airline fares continue to moveup, passengers need affordable travel alternatives."

The deal is subject to various approvals and is expected toclose in December, Republic said.

Shares of Republic closed at $11.89 on the Nasdaq on Monday.

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