Canada’s second largest airline, WestJet, is being sold to a Toronto-based company for a whopping $5 billion this summer.
The investment company, Onex, is purchasing the air carrier in an “all-cash transaction” that includes all of WestJet’s assumed debt.
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While both companies are excited about the acquisition, completion of the deal is still subject to a number of conditions and shareholder approvals.
In July, 2019, WestJet will hold a special meeting for shareholders. So far, the airline’s board of directors have unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the deal.
“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,” said Ed Sims, WestJet’s President and Chief Executive Officer in a news release.
“Integral to this relationship is a commitment to our employees, and our unique ownership-driven culture.”
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WestJet first launched in 1996 as a low-cost domestic airline. Since then, the company has grown into one of Canada’s largest air carriers, second only to Air Canada, with international routes being established in the US, Europe, and more.
“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 in a release.
“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.”