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Exclusive: Another vote delay leaves Spirit's merger with Frontier in question while JetBlue circles – TalkOfNews.com

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Another vote delay leaves Spirit's merger with Frontier in question while JetBlue circles

#vote #delay #leaves #Spirit039s #merger #Frontier #question #JetBlue #circles

The fate of Spirit Airlines’ merger with fellow budget carrier Frontier Airlines is growing murkier.

Spirit this week delayed its shareholder meeting for a third time, opening the door to more talks from both Frontier and rival suitor JetBlue Airways. The latter two delays each came just hours before Spirit shareholders were due to vote on the Frontier tie-up, a now $2.6 billion cash-and-stock combination after Frontier recently sweetened the offer in an effort to ward off JetBlue’s advances. JetBlue is offering about $3.7 billion in an all-cash takeover.

Ahead of the most recently scheduled vote, which was slated for Friday morning, it didn’t appear Spirit had enough votes to get the Frontier deal approved, according to people familiar with the matter.

Spirit would be on the hook to pay Frontier a break-up fee of more than $94 million if it deems JetBlue’s offer superior and scraps its original deal.

“We’re working hard to bring this process to a conclusion while remaining focused on the well-being of our Spirit Family,” Spirit CEO Ted Christie said in a note to employees late Thursday after the vote was postponed yet again. Spirit declined to comment further on Friday.

JetBlue, for its part, cheered the delay. CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement late Thursday: “We are encouraged by our discussions with Spirit and are hopeful they now recognize that Spirit shareholders have indicated their clear, overwhelming preference for an agreement with JetBlue.”

Neither JetBlue nor Frontier offered further comment on Friday.

At stake is a chance to become the country’s fifth-largest airline, behind giants American, Delta, United and Southwest. A Spirit-Frontier merger could create a budget airline behemoth, while JetBlue says its buyout offer would “turbocharge” growth at the airline, whose service includes more amenities and Mint business-class on some aircraft.

“Spirit’s board is hell-bent on a Frontier deal. They’ve never wavered,” said Brett Snyder, a former airline manager who now runs the Cranky Flier travel site. “Their challenge is how do they get the votes?”

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If the Frontier deal goes to a vote, Spirit shareholders will being deciding on a cash-and-stock deal. Banking stock could mean a future benefit for shareholders if the travel rebound boosts the stock price. But they risk the reverse in the event of a recession or travel slowdown, though budget carriers such as Spirit and Frontier are less sensitive to the ups and downs of business travel than larger airlines.

JetBlue’s cash-in-hand offer avoids the gamble.

“With the Frontier deal, you’re putting faith in what happens after the merger to make your money. With JetBlue, it’s: Here’s the money, take the money, go away,” Snyder said.

JetBlue has repeatedly sweetened its offer for Spirit, including increasing a reverse break-up fee should regulators block the deal. The airline’s persistence has put pressure on Frontier, which recently upped its own offer to match JetBlue’s reverse break-up fee.

Spirit’s board has rejected each of JetBlue’s proposals, arguing a takeover wouldn’t pass muster with the Justice Department, which is suing to block JetBlue’s own regional alliance with American Airlines in the Northeast U.S.

The Biden administration’s Justice Department has vowed to take a hard line against deals that threaten competition, even assuming divestitures. JetBlue, for example, promised to divest Spirit assets in the Northeast to make its proposed Spirit takeover more palatable.

But that’s only a concern if a Frontier deal is dead — and despite the shareholder vote delays, it may not be, according to Bob Mann, an aviation analyst and former airline executive.

“I see it more of a case of Spirit being just unquestionably careful about listening and reviewing [JetBlue’s offer] and they may ultimately conclude on their own it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Should a Frontier deal fall short at the shareholder vote and pave the way for JetBlue, Frontier could still end up ahead: JetBlue’s plan is to convert Spirit’s tightly packed and no-frills Airbus planes into its own, which include seatback screens, more legroom and free Wi-Fi.

Whatever JetBlue pays for Spirit “is a down payment,” Mann said. “Integration costs are going to be billions on top of that and take years.”

That would leave Frontier as the largest and stand-out no-frills budget airline in the U.S. at a time when nearly everything’s getting more expensive.

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Exclusive: Rezonate raises $8.7M and launches its cloud identity protection platform out of stealth – TalkOfNews.com

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Rezonate raises $8.7M and launches its cloud identity protection platform out of stealth

#Rezonate #raises #87M #launches #cloud #identity #protection #platform #stealth

Rezonate, a Boston- and Tel Aviv-based startup that offers an agent-less cloud identity protection platform that aims to help DevOps teams minimize attackers’ opportunities to breach cloud identity and access, is coming out of stealth today and announcing an $8.7 million seed funding round, led by State of Mind Ventures and Flybridge, with participation from toDay Ventures, Merlin Ventures and a number of angel investors.

Founded in January 2022, Rezonate is part of a group of modern identity and access management (IAM) startups that aim to modernize the current state of affairs in this space, which is struggling to meet the demands of modern cloud infrastructure systems. This shift is creating new attack surfaces, especially as enterprises move to the cloud — and more dynamic infrastructure systems — at an ever-increasing rate. The number of security breaches stemming from issues with identity and access management is already on the rise. Indeed, Gartner expects that by 2023, “75% of security failures will result from inadequate management of identities, access, and privileges.”

Image Credits: Rezonate

Co-founder and CEO Roy Akerman was previously the head of the Israeli Cyberdefense Operations, while Rezonate co-founder and CTO Ori Amiga previously led R&D for this unit. Both received the Medal of Honor for their contributions to Israel’s National Security.

“The rapidly-changing cloudscape together with the proliferation of human and machine identities requires a different approach,” said Akerman. “Modern infrastructures require a precise and nimble way to outsmart attackers. One that prioritizes cloud identities and access at its core and is constantly adapting to current dynamics over yesterday’s snapshots and, for the first time, gives defenders and builders the means to act confidently.”

Image Credits: Rezonate

Rezonate promises to discover all of a company’s cloud and identity providers and the corresponding access privileges of its employees. The platform automatically detects security gaps and abnormal access attempts in real time. Rezonate promises that within minutes of deploying its solution, its platform can identify cloud identity and access risks and provide guidance for remediating them, or even automatically remove access and terminate sessions.

At the core of all of this is what Rezonate calls its ‘Identity Storyline,’ which aims to provide DevOps and security teams with a context-rich dashboard that helps them understand the security risk across a company’s cloud estate. With this, users get an easy-to-read dashboard that clearly lays out what kind of access every user has — and where there are potential issues.

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“The fact that in just ten months from our first line of code we already have active customers, solving key gaps daily, affirms the criticality of the cloud identity and access issue. In a cloud world where everything is changing all of the time, DevOps teams need a solution as dynamic and automated as the infrastructure they need to protect is,” said Amiga.

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Exclusive: Building a Prospecting Motion: How to Outreach Like a Pro – TalkOfNews.com

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Building a Prospecting Motion: How to Outreach Like a Pro

#Building #Prospecting #Motion #Outreach #Pro

The core responsibility of business development is to generate a pipeline of new business opportunities. For teams looking to close new customers, this work is indispensable.

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Exclusive: 5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday – TalkOfNews.com

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5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday

#stock #market #opens #Tuesday

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), December 5, 2022.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Rough start

Stocks got off on the wrong foot this week with an ugly selloff Monday as investors weighed strong new economic data that stoked worries of sustained rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. The Dow dropped more than 480 points, while the S&P 500 declined 1.79% and the Nasdaq fell 1.93%. When it meets next week, the Fed’s policy-setting committee is expected to raise its benchmark rate by half a percentage point, which is less than the three-quarter-point hikes of the past few months but still sizable. Smith & Wesson and Stitch Fix earnings are set to hit after the bell Tuesday. Read live market updates here.

2. Salesforce slumps

Bret Taylor, co-chief executive officer of Salesforce.com Inc., right, and Marc Benioff, co-chief executive officer of Salesforce.com Inc., wear rabbit ears during a keynote at the 2022 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Marlena Sloss | Bloomberg | Getty Images

3. Most Ford dealers sign up for EV plan

4. Biden touts Arizona chip investment

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks prior to signing railroad legislation into law, providing a resoluton to avert a nationwide rail shutdown, during a signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2022. 

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

5. Russia ratchets up missile attacks

A building burns after shelling in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on December 4, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Yevhen Titov | Afp | Getty Images

And one more thing …

Actress Kirstie Alley

Noam Galai | Wireimage | Getty Images

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