American investment company, ONEX said it will acquire WestJet Airlines Ltd. in an all-cash transaction.
ONEX said in a statement that its affiliated funds will acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet for $31.00 per share, after which WestJet will operate as a privately-held company.
The purchase price represents a 67% premium to Friday’s closing share price and a 63% premium to WestJet’s 20-day volume-weighted average trading price. The transaction value is approximately $5 billion including assumed debt.
“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
“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, said, “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.”
The investment will be led by Onex Partners, Onex’ private equity platform focused on larger investment