WestJet Airlines sold for $5bn

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood May 13, 2019 15:56

WestJet Airlines sold for $5bn

WestJet Airlines has been sold to Onex Corp. in deal worth $5 billion, including assumed debt.

WestJet will retain its headquarters in Calgary, but operate as a privately-held company, the company says.

Under the terms of the deal, WestJet shareholders will receive C$31 for each share held, representing an about 67% premium to its closing price on Friday.

The investment will be led by Onex Partners, Onex’ private equity platform focused on larger investment opportunities.

It is the recommendation of the WestJet board of directors that shareholders vote in favour of the deal.

“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,” said Clive Beddoe, WestJet’s founder and chairman. “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. Onex’ aerospace experience, history of positive employee relations and long-term orientation makes it an ideal partner for WestJetters, and I am excited about our future.”

The deal is expected to close in the latter part of this year or early next year, the company said.

Just last week, WestJet posted a net earnings increase of 33.4% in its Q1 2019 financial results.

Goodmans is acting as Canadian legal advisor to Onex and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson is serving as US legal advisor to Onex. DLA Piper (Canada) is serving as Onex’ aviation regulatory counsel.

Barclays is acting as lead financial advisor and lending bank to Onex with additional advisory and financing provided by Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets.

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood May 13, 2019 15:56