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Air Canada To Purchase Air Transat

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On 8/12/2019 at 9:38 AM, rudder said:

I have no doubt the non-core asset sale will begin immediately after closing.

AC is not in the hotel business.

True but a majority of rouge flying is leisure destinations where you need hotel rooms. Once you have control of that inventory it’s makes life difficult for the competition. Whoever that will be. 

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https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/transat-s-shareholders-overwhelmingly-approve-the-arrangement-with-air-canada-860941611.html

Also

 

Air Canada Welcomes Transat Shareholders Approval
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MONTREAL, Aug. 23, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada is pleased by the announcement, earlier today, by Transat A.T. Inc. ("Transat") of the approval, by a majority of nearly 95% of its shareholders, of its Arrangement Agreement with Air Canada under which Air Canada will acquire all its issued and outstanding shares.

"We are pleased with the outcome of Transat's special meeting and grateful to Transat shareholders for this overwhelming show of support," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada. "We will build a combined company greater than the sum of its parts that we can all be proud of.  We now look forward to engaging with Transport Canada and the Competition Bureau to secure the required approvals to complete the transaction and welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the many benefits it will bring." 

"This is the best possible outcome for all stakeholders," added Mr. Rovinescu. "For shareholders of Transat and Air Canada, the combination delivers excellent value, while also providing increased job security for both companies' employees through greater growth prospects. Air Canada plans to preserve the Transat and Air Transat brands and maintain the Transat head office and its key functions in Montreal. Travellers will benefit from the combined companies' enhanced capabilities in the highly competitive, global leisure travel market and from access to new destinations, more connecting traffic and increased frequencies. Customers and the Quebec economy will derive maximum advantage of having a Montreal-based, growth-oriented global champion in aviation, the world's most international business, spurring more employment and securing Montreal's position as a leader among world aviation centres."

Plan of Arrangement

The acquisition will proceed by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act. The transaction remains subject to court and regulatory approvals and the other closing conditions set out in the Arrangement Agreement. If such approvals are obtained and conditions are met, the transaction is expected to be completed in early 2020. Further details regarding the transaction are provided in Transat's management proxy circular for the special meeting of shareholders and in the Arrangement Agreement and the Amending Agreement entered into between Air Canada and Transat, copies of which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

 

 

Edited by dagger
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Hmmm I wonder who will benefit from this, the public or perhaps certain opposing groups.

Transport Canada to conduct a public interest assessment regarding proposed purchase of Transat A.T. Inc. by Air Canada Français

 


News provided by

Transport Canada

Aug 26, 2019, 17:26 ET

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OTTAWA, Aug. 26, 2019 /CNW/ - On July 17, Air Canada and Transat A.T. Inc. notified the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, of a proposed transaction whereby Air Canada would acquire Transat A.T. Inc. This notification was in accordance with the mergers and acquisitions provisions of the Canada Transportation Act.

The Minister of Transport has determined that the transaction raises public interest issues related to national transportation. As such, a public interest assessment of the proposed transaction will be conducted with input from the Commissioner of Competition, who will assess impacts on competition.

The public interest assessment will include targeted consultations with the air industry and other stakeholders, other levels of government and the public, as well as an analysis of the economic benefits or challenges resulting from the proposed transaction. Consultation will begin on November 4, 2019.

Under the Canada Transportation Act, Transport Canada has up to 150 days to complete this public interest assessment. However, the Minister has the authority to grant an extension should extra time be necessary. Considering the size and scope of the proposed transaction, an extra 100 days has been granted to both Transport Canada and the Commissioner of Competition, to ensure sufficient time for thorough analysis and assessment.

The Department now has 250 days (until May 2, 2020) to complete the public interest assessment and provide it to the Minister. The Minister would then provide a recommendation to the Governor in Council (Cabinet) concerning the proposed purchase. The Minister's recommendation would incorporate the findings of the Commissioner's report on competition considerations. There is no legislated timeline for the Minister to make his recommendation or for the Governor in Council to make a final decision.

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

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.

Air Canada’s Transat takeover looks shakier than ever to investors

Tue Aug 27, 2019 - Bloomberg News

After battling a rival bid, Transat A.T. and Air Canada Inc. now have one more thing to worry about. The gap between Transat’s share price and Air Canada’s takeover bid is sitting at the widest ever — indicating investors aren’t confident the deal will get done.

Canada’s transport minister Marc Garneau said Monday that officials need until May to review the proposed acquisition in order to ascertain whether the deal is in the best interest of the public.

Transat’s stock closed Monday at $15.97 (US$12.07), more than $2 below Air Canada’s offer of $18 a share or $720 million. That was raised earlier this month from $13 in an attempt to fend off an unsolicited bid from Group Mach Inc., a Quebec real-estate developer, that’s offered to buy at least one-fifth of Transat for $14 a share.

The tour operator’s shareholders voted 95 per cent in favour of the Air Canada bid last Friday. It’s now subject to other closing conditions, including approval under the Canadian Competition Act, the Canada Transportation Act and European Council regulations.

The competition review is anticipated “to be the most strenuous given the overlap of the companies in Montreal and Quebec markets,” AltaCorp Capital analyst Chris Murray said in a recent note. “The upcoming federal election could also expose the transaction to heightened levels of political discourse, which could make regulators reticent to approve relevant reviews.”

However, Murray said he believes the deal will ultimately get the required approvals and will close by 2020.

Scotiabank analyst Konark Gupta agreed that the deal will eventually get done but added that the “Competition Act approval could be relatively more tedious compared to other regulatory and government approvals” due to substantial overlap between the two companies in sun destinations and transatlantic markets.

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The government really needs to keep its nose out of private enterprise.

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11 hours ago, boestar said:

The government really needs to keep its nose out of private enterprise.

Having 60% of the Transatlantic market and more than 90% market share of the market among Canadian Airlines doesn’t seem like it would be in the public interest. AC thinking they could roll this through easily seems somewhat misguided. The end result isn’t going to be what AC thought they were buying so it’ll be interesting to see if they follow through on the share offering if they are forced to divest some assets. 

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17 minutes ago, Jumpy said:

Having 60% of the Transatlantic market and more than 90% market share of the market among Canadian Airlines doesn’t seem like it would be in the public interest. AC thinking they could roll this through easily seems somewhat misguided. The end result isn’t going to be what AC thought they were buying so it’ll be interesting to see if they follow through on the share offering if they are forced to divest some assets. 

If they don't get to buy Transat, who will? swoop, WestJet . Porter or perhaps some Quebec Hotel firm.???????A Real look or just a way to garner more votes from Quebec????  

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Transat Announces Receipt of Final Court Approval for the Transaction with Air Canada


News provided by

Transat A.T. Inc.

Aug 29, 2019, 08:11 ET

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MONTREAL, Aug. 29, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat A.T. Inc. ("Transat") today announced that the Superior Court of Quebec has issued a final order approving the previously announced plan of arrangement with Air Canada (the "Arrangement"). The Arrangement was also approved by 94.77% of shareholders present in person or by proxy at the special meeting of Transat held on August 23, 2019.

The Arrangement is still subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals described in Transat's management information circular dated July 19, 2019, as well as other customary closing conditions. In addition, a public interest assessment regarding the Arrangement is being undertaken by Transport Canada with input from the Commissioner of Competition.  If the required regulatory approvals are obtained and conditions are met, it is now expected that the transaction will be completed by the second quarter 2020.

Further information regarding the Arrangement is provided in the managem²ent information circular dated July 19, 2019.

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60% is far from a monopoly.  Any other airline can apply for the routes should they so desire.  AC has the ability to feed them properly.

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IMHO, there's not a snowball's chance in Hades that the purchase will be denied. However, anyone who believes that keeping TS as a separate entity for all time is failing to learn the lessons of history.

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On the contrary this deal while it serves Air Canada really well, is not in the best interest of the public and competition, and any government would find it very difficult to approve it without mandating major divesture and restrictions in routes, gates, and Aeroplan to name a few. Its approval is tantamount to political suicide for any government especially when there are other options including other suitors and status quo.

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AC says that they will retain Transat as a separate entity. I'm curious as to how that will work. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me not to merge Transat into Air Canada and operate them as part of AC Vacations. Another option I suppose would be to move some AC aircraft into Transat and move AC Vactions to Transat. Anybody have any insights regarding this?

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6 hours ago, GDR said:

AC says that they will retain Transat as a separate entity. 

Back in the day....... AC said the same thing about CDN and look how long that lasted? Might be kept as a separate by merging it into Rouge? Just musing ?

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22 hours ago, Jumpy said:

Having 60% of the Transatlantic market and more than 90% market share of the market among Canadian Airlines doesn’t seem like it would be in the public interest. AC thinking they could roll this through easily seems somewhat misguided. The end result isn’t going to be what AC thought they were buying so it’ll be interesting to see if they follow through on the share offering if they are forced to divest some assets. 

This is not a pure Competition Tribunal public interest assessment, the report goes to the Transport Minister where a political decision will be made.

Unless WS comes to the table with significant commitment to fly YUL or YYZ international and truly replace Transat flying flight for flight, route for route; the TC Minister is going to approve the takeover. 

WestJet won't take the A310 or A321 and they appear finished with purchasing more 763s. This leaves redeploying the additional 7 Dreamliners they have on order. If WestJet enterred into an agreement to increase competition, they would have to deploy the Dreamliner onto such great routes as YYZ to CDG/AMS/FCO/AGP on a year round basis. Additionally they would have to put the Dreamliner onto YUL runs. This would significantly and negatively impact the strategic plan as it would push back Asia operations a good 2-3 years. 

I expect that AC will have to give up some slots and gates in YYZ, but probably not much else. Maybe YUL to sun destinations for Sunwing to takeover with additional frequencies. 

IMHO the public interest assessment is driven by a desire to paper the takeover as much as possible for the Americans and Europeans. This keeps Canada in control. Minimal repercussions to AC because anything less will put QC jobs at risk. 

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26 minutes ago, Kasey said:

Back in the day....... AC said the same thing about CDN and look how long that lasted? Might be kept as a separate by merging it into Rouge? Just musing ?

The TransAt YYZ operation that must remain in T3 (because not everything can come into T1) will be separate for operational purposes. I can see TransAt Holidays remaining separate. 

YUL has a phenomenal opportunity to integrate everything into AC and AC Rouge as the airport would become a crown jewel fortress hub for TransAtlantic operations.

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Back in the day when Air Canada bought and assimilated Canadian, similar arguments were used, except they were even more compelling, Canadian was on the verge of collapsing, the deal was to save jobs, etc. etc. It makes little difference to competition bureau. 

This time the argument is not even compelling, Transat is a going concern and has other options. Conditions and restrictions will be put on this deal which either will either sour the milk enough that Air Canada will walk away, or concessions will have to be made, such as giving up T3 gates and space, opening Aeroplan, giving up routes, etc.

During their last rule, Liberals said no to co-signing a loan for Canada 3000 which caused its bankruptcy, and then bailed out Air Canada (their competitors). This time too, at the start of their rule, the Liberals undemocratically killed the discussions and studies for Toronto City airport, again eliminating competition for Air Canada. With such strong appearance of bias for Air Canada, the Liberals cannot risk another obsolescence by going easy on this deal, especially after recent allegations of corruption.

 

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Air Transat planning carries on.

 
 

Air Transat to offer direct service between Montreal and Copenhagen

 
‎Today, ‎October ‎1, ‎2019, ‏‎30 minutes ago | Canadian Aviation News

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc./CNW

MONTREAL, Oct. 1, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat, recently named the World’s Best Leisure Airline by Skytrax for the second year in a row, is pleased to announce that it will offer direct flights between Montreal and Copenhagen, Denmark, next summer. The new service will operate twice a week from June 16 to September 20, 2020. Passengers will fly on the Airbus A321neoLR, a next-generation aircraft recently added to the Air Transat fleet that delivers an improved inflight experience.

WATCH: Air Transat video on the Airbus A321neoLR

  Air Transat to offer direct service between Montreal and Copenhagen (photo credit: Martin Heiberg) (CNW Group/Transat A.T. Inc.)

“Air Transat is proud to be the only air carrier to offer non-stop service to Copenhagen out of Montreal,” says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer, Transat. “This brings the number of European destinations we will be offering next summer to 27. The introduction of Airbus A321neoLRs to our fleet marked a milestone in our air operations management. These long-range narrow-body aircraft are improving our efficiency and flexibility, and enabling us to continue expanding our vacation destination offering.”

Copenhagen is one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in Europe. A model of green development, the city surrounded by water and parks is a cyclist’s paradise. Noted among other things for its rich design culture, museums and fine dining, Copenhagen offers an extremely diversified range of tourist activities and attractions.

“We are delighted to welcome the addition of Copenhagen to YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport’s air service,” explains Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of ADM. “Quebecers now have a choice of 155 destinations to be discovered leaving from our city, further underscoring its role as a hub for international air traffic. Thanks to Air Transat, our travellers will find it easier than ever to visit and do business with the capital of Denmark, known as a green, innovative and smart city.”

“We are pleased to have Air Transat fly to Denmark with this new direct route to Copenhagen,” says Morten Tranberg Mortensen, Director of Airline Sales & Route Development, Copenhagen Airport. “This new service from Montreal to Scandinavia’s largest airport will bring great travel opportunities for both Canadians and Scandinavians. It underlines the attractiveness of Air Transat’s new Airbus A321neoLR, a game-changing aircraft that opens new and exciting routes. This new route was made possible by the efforts of both Air Transat and CPH.”

“This new flight reinforces Montreal’s position as an international city that’s open to the world,” says Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “We will do our part in ensuring the touristic and economic success of this new collaboration between the two cities, all while working closely with our Montreal partners.”

Full details of Air Transat’s Summer 2020 program will be announced shortly, along with hotel, packages and tour offerings in Copenhagen and elsewhere in Denmark.

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From the headlines section:

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/exclusive-air-canadas-transat-buyout-fuels-investor-coronavirus-jitters-sources-2020-05-01

With the current state of affairs, one has to wonder why this purchase would move forward. It was originally performed at a time when AC was aggressively looking for extra capacity and qualified labor force.

It now has over 80% of its fleet parked, thousands of employees on layoff and is likely flying less than 5% of its 2019 capacity.

What would be the appeal of such a purchase now? Is a quasi monopolistic pricing ability worth the price?

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Letter Decision No. LET-A-33-2020

May 14, 2020
 

Canadian status determination on whether Air Canada’s proposed acquisition of Transat A.T. Inc. (Transat) would result in an air transportation undertaking that is Canadian as defined in subsection 55(1) of the Canada Transportation Act, S.C., 1996, c. 10, as amended (CTA).

 
Case number: 
19-02559
 

BACKGROUND

The CTA requires air carriers holding domestic licences issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) to be Canadian, as defined in subsection 55(1) of the CTA. This is a requirement that must be complied with at all times.

On June 27, 2019, Air Canada and Transat entered into an Arrangement Agreement, under which Air Canada proposes to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Transat.

On August 26, 2019, the Minister of Transport informed Air Canada and Transat that the proposed transaction raises issues with respect to the public interest. Pursuant to section 53.3 of the CTA, the Agency must therefore determine if the transaction would result in an undertaking that is Canadian.

Air Canada is a publicly traded air carrier that holds Agency licences. Transat is publicly traded and the parent company to Air Transat A.T. Inc. (Air Transat), which holds Agency licences.

THE LAW AND GUIDANCE MATERIAL

Pursuant to subsection 55(1) of the CTA, Canadian means:

  1. a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,
  2. a government in Canada or an agent or mandatary of such a government, or
  3. a corporation or entity that is incorporated or formed under the laws of Canada or a province, that is controlled in fact by Canadians and of which at least 51% of the voting interests are owned and controlled by Canadians and where

i. no more than 25% of the voting interests are owned directly or indirectly by any single non-Canadian, either individually or in affiliation with another person, and

ii.  no more than 25% of the voting interests are owned directly or indirectly by one or more non-Canadians authorized to provide an air service in any jurisdiction, either individually or in affiliation with another person.

Canadian status determinations are based on the Agency’s application of the definition of Canadian found in the CTA to information that an applicant has provided about matters such as its corporate structure, governance, service contracts, debt, and equity. This application of the statutory definition to information submitted is informed by the considerations laid out in the Agency’s guide, “Application Process for Canadian Ownership Determinations for Air Transportation”.

ANALYSIS AND DETERMINATION

Three requirements must be met for an air carrier to be considered Canadian: (1) the incorporation or formation requirement, (2) the voting interest requirement, and (3) the control in fact requirement.

The first requirement is met if the company is incorporated or formed under the laws of Canada or one of its provinces. The second requirement is satisfied if at least 51% of the voting interests in the company are owned and controlled by Canadians, with no single non-Canadian or group of non-Canadian air service providers directly or indirectly owning and controlling more than 25% of the voting interests, either individually or in affiliation with another person. The third requirement typically entails the most analysis. Control in fact is the power, whether exercised or not, to control the strategic decision-making activities of an enterprise and to manage and run its day-to-day operations. The influence needs to be dominant or determining to be considered “control in fact”.

Where the ownership of the licence holder resides with one or more entities, the definition of Canadian is also applied to each of those entities. If, in turn, they are owned by other entities, the Agency must determine who controls the company up to the top of the ownership chain, applying the definition of Canadian at each level of the corporate ownership structure.

Air Canada

Incorporation or Formation Requirement

For an entity to be Canadian, it must be formed or incorporated under the laws of Canada or one of its provinces. Air Canada is incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act.

Voting Interest Requirement

Air Canada’s variable voting share structure ensures that Canadians will always cast at least 51% of the votes at any shareholders’ meeting and that any individual non-Canadian or group of non-Canadian air service providers cannot cast more than 25% of the votes and, therefore, the requirement is met.

Control in Fact Requirement

The Board of Directors is elected by the shareholders to govern and manage the affairs of the corporation. For control in fact to reside with Canadians, (i) Canadian shareholders must have the right to appoint no less than half of the board of directors and (ii) at least half of the board members must be Canadian.

The Agency generally also expects a corporation’s quorum provisions to require (i) no less than half of the shareholders or directors present at a shareholder or Board of Directors meeting be Canadian and (ii) no less than half of the members at a Board of Directors meeting to have been appointed by Canadian shareholders.

Air Canada’s by-laws require that a majority of its board be composed of Canadians and, for a quorum to be established, a majority of Canadian directors must be present. In this way, Canadians will always cast at least 51% of the votes at any shareholders’ meeting, including the election of directors.

As Air Canada is a publicly listed company, the Agency considered whether there are any non-Canadian shareholders that hold a large voting interest. There is no known non-Canadian shareholder that holds more than 6 percent of Air Canada’s issued and outstanding voting shares.

The majority of Air Canada’s debt is issued by major financial institutions or raised from public facilities that do not raise control in fact concerns.

Air Canada has entered into joint venture agreements with Lufthansa and United Airlines and with Air China, each a non-Canadian air carrier. The Agency reviewed the agreements which provide for the parties to cooperate on scheduling, revenue management, sales and marketing activities regarding covered routes, while retaining their individual corporate identities, brands and product offerings and did not identify any control in fact concerns.

In light of the foregoing, the Agency finds that Air Canada is controlled in fact by Canadians.

Transat/Air Transat

Air Canada anticipates finalizing the corporate structure of Transat shortly before closing the Transaction. Air Canada has, however, indicated that it expects that Transat will become a direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Canada and that Transat will be delisted from the TSX as promptly as practicable after completion of the Transaction.

Transat and Air Transat are incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act and, as such, meet the incorporation requirement. The Agency notes, however, that should Air Canada’s ownership of Air Transat be held indirectly through one or more subsidiary companies, each of these companies will also need to be formed or incorporated under the laws of Canada or one of its provinces.

Air Canada will ultimately own all of the voting and economic interest in Transat and, as Air Transat is wholly owned by Transat, both Transat and Air Transat will meet the voting interest requirement and will also meet the control in fact requirement, as long as their corporate governance structures provide for at least half of board members to be Canadian and for their quorum provisions to require no less than half of the directors present at any Board of Directors meeting be Canadian. As Air Canada has yet to finalize its post-acquisition corporate structure, the Agency is not able to confirm whether these governance factors would be met.

DETERMINATIONS

In light of the foregoing, the Agency determines that Air Canada is Canadian as defined in subsection 55(1) of the CTA. The Agency also determines that Air Transat will be Canadian after the proposed acquisition is completed on the conditions that any entities in the direct line of control:

  1. meet the incorporation/formation requirement;
  2. have provisions that ensure that no less than half of their board members, at any point, be Canadian; and
  3. have quorum provisions that require no less than half of the directors present at any board of directors’ meeting be Canadian.

The Agency directs Air Canada to provide the appropriate incorporation or formation documents along with any by-laws that demonstrate compliance with the above, to the Agency, within sixty (60) days of the completion of the proposed transaction.

 

Member(s)

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Quote

Air Canada’s Bid for Transat Gets Extended EU Merger Probe

Mon May 25, 2020 - Bloomberg News
By Aoife White

Air Canada’s bid for tour operator Transat A.T. Inc. faces an extended probe from European Union regulators who said the deal may hamper competition by combining the two biggest airlines linking Europe and Canada.

The European Commission set a Sept. 30 deadline to rule on the deal, citing concerns that the “transaction could significantly reduce competition on 33” routes, according to an emailed statement on Monday.

One potential rival to the combined company, WestJet Airlines Ltd., is unlikely to be able to compete strongly on the routes that regulators see as problematic, the EU said.

Montreal-based Transat agreed in August to be acquired for C$18 a share in cash. Shares have since slumped well below that level, suggesting investors are questioning whether the C$720 million ($515 million) deal will happen in light of the coronavirus crisis, which has hammered the prospects for travel companies.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, said the pandemic shouldn’t prevent careful scrutiny of deals.

“This is a challenging time, especially in markets severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, but a return to normal and healthy market conditions must be based on markets that remain competitive,” she said in the statement.

 

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I believe this deal will wither and die on the vine and it should. AC is going to be half the size or less than it was and it can be argued that they have a vast excess of wide-body capacity.

The only thing of any real value that AT now brings to the table are the A321's and a few resorts that will now be virtual ghost towns for a few years.

If AT was based anywhere else but Quebec AC would have run for the hills long ago.

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1 hour ago, Maverick said:

I believe this deal will wither and die on the vine and it should. AC is going to be half the size or less than it was and it can be argued that they have a vast excess of wide-body capacity.

The only thing of any real value that AT now brings to the table are the A321's and a few resorts that will now be virtual ghost towns for a few years.

If AT was based anywhere else but Quebec AC would have run for the hills long ago.

I agree and in particular unless AC is looking way down range, the various restriction in the UK / EU put most holiday travel in the near feature to Europe out of the picture.  In that regard, any news what WestJet is going to do with / utilize their 787s this summer & fall or is it too soon for that decision?

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