Republic Airways Said to Plan IPO, 4 Years After Bankruptcy Exit

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Republic Airways, which operates regional flights for the three largest U.S. carriers, is exploring going public as soon as this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company is working with underwriters including Raymond James Financial Inc. as it prepares for an initial public offering as soon as the third quarter, the people said. Its targeted valuation couldn’t immediately be learned.

A spokesperson for Republic and a Raymond James representative declined to comment.

Founded in 1974, Indianapolis-based Republic is led by Chief Executive Officer Bryan Bedford. It operates flights through fixed-fee agreements for American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. under the brands American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express, its website shows.

With a fleet of more than 220 Embraer SA planes, the company ferries passengers from small and mid-sized cities to major airport hubs where they often catch other flights. It emerged from a bankruptcy restructuring in April 2017, with ownership stakes totaling 61% at that time held by American, Delta and United.

A public offering by Republic would be the third this year for a U.S. airline, following Frontier Group Holdings Inc. and Sun Country Airlines Holdings Inc., as carriers seek to capitalize on a surge in domestic travel demand following stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.

Republic competes against regional airlines including Utah-based SkyWest Inc. and Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group Inc.

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