Published on : Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Onex Corp has announced a deal to buy WestJet Airlines Ltd. In an all cash-transaction valued at $5 billion. This will also include the assumed debt and Onex will pay $31 per share for Westjet which will now operate as a private company.
Clive Beddoe, WestJet founder and chairman said that Onex is an ideal partner for the airline and he was pleased that that WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary and will continue to build on the success that their 14,000 WestJetters had created.
In March the airline was approached by Onex a Toronto-based private equity firm to enter the deal.Tawfiq Popatia, a managing director at Onex said that WestJet is one of Canada’s strongest brands and they have tremendous respect for the business that Clive Beddoe and all WestJetters have built over the years.
WestJet is known for both regional and budget airlines- WestJet Encore and Swoop. By ordering 10 Boeing 787 jetliners it is gearing up for the long-haul routes which are due to be delivered before 2022.The first one will be received earlier this year.
Cowen airline analyst Helane Becker said that WestJet’s ultimate goal is to become a full-service airline with products across the entire airline spectrum and the transformation will be expensive.
After the news of the deal the shares of WestJet (WJAFF) went up by about 60%. Depending upon the regulatory approval the deal is expected to close in late 2019 or early 2020.