Onex to Take WestJet Private in $3.7 Billion Deal

By Paul Riegler on 13 May 2019
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IMG_2596 (1)WestJet Airlines said Monday it has agreed to be acquired by Onex, a private equity firm, in an all-cash deal valued at 3.53 billion Canadian dollars ($2.63 billion).

The deal by the Toronto-based private equity firm would take WestJet private, paying C$31 per share for all outstanding shares. The purchase price represents a 67% premium over the airline’s closing price on Friday.

Including the assumption of WestJet’s debt the deal is valued at C$5 billion.

The airline said that, upon receiving an offer from Onex in March, it formed a special committee that later recommended the airline enter into the deal. The airline’s board of directors later determined that the proposal was in the airline’s best interests, the company said.

“I am particularly pleased that WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary and will continue to build on the success that our 14,000 WestJetters have created,” said Clive Beddoe, the airline’s founder and chairman, in a statement.

“WestJet is one of Canada’s strongest brands and we have tremendous respect for the business that Clive Beddoe and all WestJetters have built over the years,” said Tawfiq Popatia, a managing director at Onex.

The deal requires approval by WestJet’s shareholders. The airline is holding a special shareholders meeting in July 2019 at which the transaction will be voted on.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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