Hot on the heels of the announcement this week that Calgary-based WestJet is being sold in a $5-billion deal to Onex Corp., Air Canada announced on Thursday that it intends to buy Transat A.T. Inc. for about $520 million or $13 per share.
In a news release, Air Canada said it will create a Montreal-based global travel services company in leisure, tourism and travel distribution, operating across Canada and internationally. Air Canada has all the necessary funding required to complete the transaction, which is accordingly not subject to financing conditions, it added.
“A combination with Transat represents a great opportunity for stakeholders of both companies. This includes the shareholders of both Transat and Air Canada, employees of both companies, who will benefit from increased job security and growth prospects, and Canadian travellers, who will benefit from the merged company’s enhanced ability to participate as a leader in the highly competitive leisure travel market globally,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive of Air Canada, in a statement.
“The acquisition presents a unique opportunity to compete with the very best in the world when it comes to leisure travel. It will also allow us to further grow our hub at Montréal-Trudeau Airport, where we have added 35 new routes since 2012 to the benefit of the Montreal and Quebec communities, and from which we carried 10 million customers in 2018 alone.”
Air Canada said the proposed transaction remains subject to the finalization of definitive agreements, confirmatory due diligence, regulatory and shareholder approvals and other closing conditions usual in this type of transaction.
– Mario Toneguzzi