20 MAY 2019
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Private-equity firm Onex Corporation has entered into a “definitive agreement” to acquire Canada's second largest carrier, WestJet. The transaction value is said to be valued at about C$5bn (£3bn) including assumed debt.
The companies said following the deal, which is expected to close later this year or in early 2020, WestJet will operate as a privately-held company.
WestJet founder Clive Beddoe said: “Since our first flight in 1996, WestJet has been singularly focused on providing better options for the Canadian travelling public and this transaction retains that commitment.
“I am particularly pleased WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary and will continue to build on our success. Onex’ aerospace experience, history of positive employee relations and long-term orientation makes it an ideal partner.”
Onex joint managing director Tawfiq Popatia said the investment would be led by Onex Partners, the group‘s private-equity platform focused on larger investment opportunities.
“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. We’re thrilled to be partnering with WestJetters and continuing this Canadian success story.”
(See also Air Canada buys Transat in this issue).
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