Airlines WestJet to be acquired by Onex

WestJet has announced that it has accepted an offer for nearly US$5 billion from Toronto-based company Onex.

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The all-cash transaction means, that the carrier is to be acquired by the equity firm. A definite agreement was signed between the two parties on May 13, 2019. The agreement suggests, that under the terms of agreement, Onex Corporation will acquire all shares of WestJet for US$31.00 per share.

Now, WestJet will function and operate as privately-held company. "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."

"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. WestJet is renowned internationally for its unparalleled guest experience and employee culture. We're thrilled to be partnering with WestJetters and continuing this remarkable Canadian success story," said Tawfiq Popatia, a Managing Director at Onex.

Ed Sims, WestJet’s President and Chief Executive Officer added: "We are delighted to continue the journey of building an airline based on a growing network, providing competitive airfares and more choice to, from and within Canada, for communities large and small. Integral to this relationship is a commitment to our employees, and our unique ownership-driven culture."

Canada´s second-largest carrier experienced first signs of financial difficulties during the second-quarter of last year. Back then, the airline took its first loss in 13 years. Reason for the problems were rising fuel costs and a strong competition.

WestJet is a Canadian airline which was founded in 1996. The carrier operates hubs at Calgary, Toronto-Pearson and Vancouver. Over 100 destinations are being served with a fleet of over 120 aircraft, including 121 Boeing 737s, four 767s and three 787 Dreamliner.

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