Category: Air Transat

Mach proposes privatization of Transat AT Inc. at $14 cash per share

Provided by Mach Group Inc/CNW

MONTREAL, June 4, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Group Mach Inc. (“Mach”), the largest independent real estate developer and owner in Quebec proposes the acquisition of all issued and outstanding voting shares (the “Shares”) of Transat AT Inc. (TSX: TRZ) (“Transat” or the “Company”),  at a price of $14.00 cash per Share (the “Offer Price”) based on a deal value exceeding $1B, including substantial off balance sheet debt which we estimate between $1.1B and $1.2B (the “Offer” or the “Transaction”). The Offer Price represents a premium of approximately 168% over the 20-day weighted average trading price prior to the announcement of Transat on April 30, 2019, and a premium of 24% over the 20-day weighted average trading price for the period ended June 3, 2019. The Offer is subject to conditions described further below.

Context of Offer

The Offer is a culmination of a long process undertaken by Mach since last January 2019 when it approached the Company regarding a potential negotiated transaction including its initial letter of intent addressed to the Board of Directors of Transat on February 7, 2019 and various amendments thereto and other exchanges with the Company up to its announcement of last April 30, 2019.

Building Transat to be Global Leader

Mr. Vincent Chiara, President & CEO of Mach, stated: “We are excited about the potential synergies between our companies in which the leading integrated international tourism model of Transat could be combined with Mach’s vast experience in overseeing the construction, ownership and management of complex real estate development projects in a cost-effective manner and its on-going initiatives at modernizing the leisure travel experience.”

The Offer would provide the opportunity for Transat to pursue its 2018-2022 strategic plan more competitively in a private setting, backed by the financial strength and extensive real estate development and ownership experience of Mach. Therefore, we can effectively execute a more robust and modernized version of the higher profit margin hotel portfolio of Transat without the significant risks associated with the Company’s current strategy, thereby securing long-term value for Transat.

We are of the view that the Offer is in the best long-term interests of the Company in compliance with the fiduciary duties of the Board of Directors of Transat to act in the best long-term interests of the Company for various reasons namely the following:

  • Our objective is to build a global leading vertically integrated leisure travel brand under the banner of Transat;
  • Transat’s head office, executive team and centre of decision-making shall truly be based in Montreal;
  • Mach is committed to reassure the Quebec Government that Quebec’s interests are truly protected;
  • Mach shall strengthen Transat’s 2018-2022 strategic plan while preserving all operating units of Transat, including its airline, tour operator, travel agency and hotel divisions;
  • We shall preserve existing continued operational improvements in Transat’s legacy airline and tour operator segments based on Transat’s existing 2018-2022 strategic plan and integrate anticipated technological enhancements provided by Mach’s global leading leisure travel partners;
  • The hotel development will generate overall significant and sustainable profit margins for Transat in which its other operating divisions, including the airline and tourism operator will exceed the current average of over 1.2 million passengers of Air Transat travelling to sun destinations by way of travel packages;
  • Upon closing of the Transaction, TM Grupo Inmobiliario (“TM”), the largest residential and leisure real estate developer in Spain and preferred hotel supplier of Transat in Mexico, shall contribute, in exchange for a minority equity stake in Transat, approximately $15,000,000 in cash and roll-over its three operating hotels in Mexico with approximately 1,000 rooms under the well-established banner The Fives Hotels and Residences into Transat’s platform (the “TM Roll-Over”) thereby immediately generating approximately $15,000,000 of EBITDA for Transat;
  • Whereas Transat’s 2018-2022 strategic plan projects 5,000 rooms within six years (3,000 owned, 2,000 managed), under the extensive real estate development expertise of Mach and TM and their significant financial capacity we plan to augment and accelerate to approximately 8,000 owned rooms and 4,000 managed rooms by such time;
  • We will expand the travel package experience for Canadians to include European destinations at very competitive pricing namely in Spain in which we could leverage TM’s vast hotel portfolio effective in 2020;
  • The public markets are not the proper setting for Transat’s 2018-2022 strategic plan, particularly its hotel development strategy which shall require several years for any meaningful returns to be realized in face of pressures of immediate results from the public markets;
  • The extensive construction, ownership and operational real estate expertise of Mach with the support of local equivalent expertise such as TM in Mexico and other sun destinations will significantly contribute to mitigating any construction and operational risks associated with Transat’s hotel development strategy;
  • Mach’s leveraging of its current international efforts and relations in the modernization of leisure travel initiatives with global leaders the likes of Airbnb, Luxury Retreats and Sonder would be highly beneficial to Transat’s 2018-2022 strategic plan. Upon closing of the Transaction, Lawrence Tosi, Managing Partner of WestCap and former CFO of Airbnb and of Blackstone would join the Board of Directors of Transat;
  • Mach is very well capitalized and readily has access to competitive financing from leading Canadian and international banks to carry out Transat’s 2018-2022 strategic plan, including as proposed herein by Mach;
  • The Transaction would reposition Transat in a private setting thereby providing it the necessary platform to be more competitive, agile and keep pace in the fast-changing leisure travel industry;
  • Transat is vulnerable to an ever increasing and highly competitive leisure travel industry in which various segments are steadily becoming commoditized thereby further squeezing margins all in the context in which many of its competitors benefit from having access to the Company’s continuous disclosure record;
  • The Transaction shall increase cash generation from public market cost savings;
  • The Transaction removes the risks for existing shareholders of Transat who would receive an upfront significant cash premium for their Shares without being exposed to significant uncertainties of the Company’s 2018-2022 strategic plan; and
  • The Shares are highly illiquid, and the Company’s 2018-2022 strategic plan reinforces the long-term uncertainty as to future Share prices. The Transaction would provide immediate liquidity for shareholders of the Company at a substantial premium.

Post-Acquisition Approach – Transat Team in Place

Mach’s investment strategy for the proposed Transaction has always been to invest alongside talented management teams to support profitable growth. Mach’s intent is to largely maintain Transat’s existing business plan as well as its management team. Our intention is to leave management in place and for day-to-day operating control to remain with them where it belongs. Mach will also leverage the expertise of TM in sun destinations such as Mexico to mitigate construction and operational risks associated with Transat’s hotel development strategy.

Conditions of Transaction

The Transaction is subject to conditions, namely the following:

  • Transat terminating its current process with Air Canada prior to entering into any definitive binding acquisition agreement with Air Canada;
  • The execution of a confidentiality agreement between Transat and Mach which includes a period of 30 days to complete due diligence and execute a definitive acquisition agreement;
  • The execution of a definitive acquisition agreement between Transat and Mach;
  • The Quebec Government providing acquisition financing of approximately $120,000,000, subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated between Mach and the Government. Mach shall file a business plan with Investissement Québec on or before June 10, 2019 (the “IQ Financing”);
  • The Fonds de solidarité FTQ (“FSTQ”) and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (the “CDPQ”) executing support and voting agreements with Mach; and
  • The receipt of regulatory approvals, namely the review of the Transaction by federal competition and transportation authorities.

Quebec Government Conditions

Mach shall satisfy the Quebec Government that, in particular, the following conditions regarding the operations of Transat’s activities shall be respected:

  • Transat’s head office, executive team and centre of decision-making must truly be based in Montreal;
  • Mach must provide assurances that no layoffs of current employees in Transat or its subsidiaries will result from the Transaction; and
  • Unless the IQ Financing has been reimbursed, the sale of any material assets or operational units of Transat must be subject to the prior consent of the Quebec Government.

Post-Closing Equity Structure of Transat

Upon closing of the Transaction, Mach shall control a minimum of 75% of the issued and outstanding voting securities of Transat with up to 25% of the remaining said securities being held by TM as a result of the TM Roll-Over, subject to any roll-over of Shares held by FSTQ and the CDPQ or any equity stake to be held by Investissement Québec in connection with the IQ Financing. 

Transat’s Current LOI

Based on Transat’s public record, the letter of intent entered into between Transat and Air Canada as announced on May 16, 2019 is not binding as to any sale. As such, presuming that said letter of intent contains customary terms and conditions, it appears that Transat would be free to terminate at any time its process with Air Canada unless a definitive binding acquisition agreement is entered into between such parties.

About MACH

For more than twenty years, Mach (www.groupemach.com) is recognized for its expertise in commercial, industrial, institutional and residential projects and in the harmonization of mixed-use built environments. Mach is positioned as a leader in all aspects of development, including acquisition, construction and property management. With a total portfolio of over 30M sq. ft. of properties (including over 4,000 residential units) and 10M sq. ft. of land, including over 20 properties in development (including Quartier des lumières, former CBC headquarters) in Montreal, Quebec City and also in Ontario and Florida, Mach is the leading independent real estate owner and developer in Quebec. Our portfolio of real estate assets consists of office, retail, hotel, industrial, land and multi-residential and includes many Quebecois prestigious buildings, such as the Sun Life Building, the CIBC Tower, Place Victoria and Le St-James Hotel in Montreal and the CGI / Le Soleil Building, the Telus Building, Le Cartier Building and the new Fasken Tower in Quebec City.

We are currently developing the Quartier des lumières in Montreal (the former CBC headquarters) which shall be one of the largest and most innovative real estate projects of the next decade consisting of a 20-acre site at the edge of the downtown core, which will welcome over 4.5 million square feet of new mix-use buildings.  Mach is also in the process of developing other innovative projects including constructing Airbnb’s new head office in Montreal for its luxury retreat division, such building to be co-owned with Airbnb.

In addition to the significant direct and indirect economic benefits for the Quebec economy resulting from Mach’s extensive real estate development portfolio, our status as a good corporate citizen has been further reinforced by the millions of dollars we have donated to local Quebec charities over the years.

About TM Real Estate Group

Founded in 1969, over the last 50 years TM Real Estate Group has become Spain’s leading residential and hotel real estate developer whose main objective is to develop real estate, tourism and hotel projects in prime locations, that incorporate competitive services and provide an excellent customer purchase experience.

Specializing in the construction and development of second homes for residential tourism, with more than 20,000 homes delivered mainly in the Mediterranean coast, the company also covers other lines of business related to its main activity, such as the operation and management of more than 800 hotel units in the Riviera Maya-Mexico, holiday rentals, real estate intermediation and agricultural exploitation, among others. 

Commitment, reliability, innovation, leadership and a clear focus on the client and results are the six pillars on which the company’s success is based. And together with its more than 500 employees and an expansion plan of more than 4,200 homes in privileged locations by the sea in Spain and Mexico, its main objective is to remain the leading real estate group in the residential tourism sector.

TM Real Estate Group is the preferred supplier of hotels in Mexico to Transat over the last seven years under the well-established banner “The Fives Hotels and Residences“, a collection of exclusive resorts delivering a unique style of Sensory Hospitality to the guests. Under its unique “ALL SENSES INCLUSIVE” concept, the brand’s portfolio of one, two or three-bedroom residence resorts go beyond traditional lifestyle brands by designing immersive, multi-sensory experiences throughout the guest journey that delight each of the five senses.

TM Real Estate Group: www.tmrealestategroup.com 
The Fives Hotels: https://www.thefiveshotels.com/  
TM Real Estate Group corporate video: https://tinyurl.com/TMCorporatevideo 
The Fives Downtown Hotel by Hilton video: https://tinyurl.com/FivesDowntownvideo

SAF+ CONSORTIUM Finalist of the Sky’s the Limit Challenge

Provided by SAF+ Consortium/CNW

Its clean fuel production technology will revolutionize the aviation industry

MONTREAL, May 29, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – SAF+ CONSORTIUM is proud to have been selected as a finalist in Impact Canada’s / Natural Resources Canada’s Challenge. The technology and the highly innovative approach on which the Consortium’s clean fuel is developed, convinced the jury of the huge potential for the aviation industry. Using an innovative circular economy solution, SAF+ CONSORTIUM transforms CO2 emitted by industries into an alternative fuel that has the same chemical properties as kerosene, while reducing carbon footprint by 80% over its life cycle.

« We would like to thank Natural Resources Canada for implementing this Challenge. This is an exceptional opportunity to value the efforts being made to find sustainable approaches, both economically and environmentally, to the challenges facing the aviation industry. », says Jean Paquin, President and CEO, SAF + CONSORTIUM.

The civil aviation sector needs to find sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to meet the obligations set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This new clean fuel will lead to a revolution in the aviation industry while contributing to the achievement of GHG reduction targets in Quebec and Canada and promoting their respective economic development.

« The $2 million prize we receive today will allow us to complete our first demonstration plant that will showcase our technology. », adds Mr. Paquin.

To carry out this major project, SAF+ CONSORTIUM can rely on several renowned partners who will ensure, among other things, the integration of sustainable fuel into the aviation value chain. Among them, Carbon Consult Group, expert in carbon footprint management, CO2 Solutions, with its CO2 capture technology, the airline company Air Transat, which will test the sustainable fuel on its fleet of aircraft and ADM Aéroports de Montréal, which will provide fuel delivery logistics support at the YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport.

« It is crucial for Air Transat to work on finding a sustainable aviation fuel solution that can meet the needs of airline operations such as ours, but also meet the industry’s goals for carbon-neutral growth. », says Jean-François Lemay, President and CEO, Air Transat. « The solution that SAF+ CONSORTIUM is working on is a perfect fit with our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint. We are committed to putting our expertise to work in this great project of interest. »

« ADM is committed to working actively with its partners to support initiatives and pilot projects that help reduce the environmental impact of aviation activities. We are proud to be supporting the development of this innovative CO2-based fuel technology by SAF+ CONSORTIUM. », noted Martin Massé, Vice President, Public Affairs, ADM.

« Capturing and recovering CO2 to produce a low-GHG aviation fuel is a highly promising approach to addressing climate change while creating a new economic sector. », says Evan Price, President and CEO, CO2 Solutions.

« There is currently an undeniable momentum around climate issues, reflecting the need and urgency to take actions. As a result, the technology developed by SAF + CONSORTIUM is a significant step forward in supplying low-carbon fuel for the aviation industry. », concludes Mr. Paquin.

Canada Announces Four Finalists for The Sky’s the Limit Challenge $5-Million Grand Prize

Provided by Natural Resources Canada/CNW

VANCOUVER, May 29, 2019 /CNW/ – Reducing pollution from aviation will create a more competitive and sustainable industry and is critical for building a low-carbon economy. Creating cleaner fuels are central to those efforts.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced the four finalists of the Impact Canada The Sky’s the Limit Challenge with each finalist receiving up to $2 million to develop his or her solution.

The finalists are:

  • Carbon Engineering Ltd for its Sustainable Aviation Fuel., made from Air, Water and Renewable Electricity (British Columbia);
  • Enerkem for its Sustainable Aviation Fuels from Agro and Forestry Biomass and from Municipal Solid Waste through a Hub and Spoke approach (Quebec);
  • FORGE Hydrocarbons Corp for its Lipid-to-Hydrocarbon Biojet Project (Alberta); and
  • SAF Consortium for its Production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel from flue gas–captured CO2 and low-carbon hydrogen (Quebec).

With the success of the five existing Impact Canada challenges, Minister Sohi announced there will be a sixth challenge on battery innovation, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks. 

Launched in August 2018, The Sky’s the Limit Challenge consists of two competitions. First, the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition challenges Canadian innovators to develop the cleanest, most affordable and sustainable aviation fuel to further reduce pollution from flying. The finalists will now enter an 18-month period to produce the fuel. In March 2021, the team with the best sustainable aviation fuel will be awarded a $5-million Grand Prize to help commercialize their innovation.

Second, in partnership with Air Canada and WestJet, the Cross-Canada Flight Competition is challenging industry to power the first ever cross-Canada commercial flight with a minimum 10 percent blend of made-in-Canada sustainable aviation fuel. The flight competition is open until January 1, 2021, and the first producer to meet the challenge will win $1 million.

The Sky’s the Limit is one of six cleantech challenges that are part of the Impact Canada Initiative. Challenges were designed to attract a diverse range of problem solvers to generate breakthrough cleantech solutions to some of Canada’s biggest unsolved challenges. NRCan is investing $75 million over four years in the challenges: Women in Cleantech ChallengePower Forward ChallengeCrush It! ChallengeThe Sky’s the Limit Challenge and Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative and the upcoming battery challenge.

Minister Sohi made the announcement during the Clean Energy and Mission Innovation Ministerial meetings in Vancouver, where ministers, high-level officials and business leaders from over 25 countries gathered to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future.

Quotes

“This unique challenge is bringing together Canadian consortia to support an incredible innovation in the aviation industry. I want to congratulate the Challenge finalists who are creating cleaner aviation fuel to grow Canada’s clean economy and create good, middle-class jobs for workers.”

Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Reducing emissions from the aviation sector is a priority for Canada. As the Government of Canada’s champion for Impact Canada, I am proud of the creative ideas and proposals put forward to develop sustainable fuels. Congratulations to the finalists on leading the charge to lowering our carbon footprint in the aviation industry.”

Karina Gould
Minister of Democratic Institutions

“We truly believe that the environmental challenges faced by the air transport industry can only be overcome by a shared vision amongst every stakeholder. Innovative ideas and collaboration are key elements to accelerate the production and integration of sustainable fuels in aviation. Congratulations to the Challenge’s finalists for playing an important part in making Canada tomorrow’s leader in clean fuel.”

Kateryna Derkach
Director Strategy and Sustainability, GARDN

“WestJet continuously looks at ways to reduce our GHG emissions through investments, technology and a focus on efficient operations. By supporting the development of biojet pathways, such as those proposed by the finalists in The Sky’s the Limit challenge, we can help Canada lead in producing biojet that is both sustainable, as well as economically viable.”

Mike McNaney
Vice-President, Industry, Corporate and Airport Affairs, WestJet

“The development of sustainable aviation fuels is an important step in the Canadian aviation sector’s climate action plan. Air Canada is a leading advocate for Canadian collaboration to develop cleaner fuels and demonstrate their benefits, having conducted eight demonstration and research flights. Our congratulations to the four finalists in their role in advancing these fuels in Canada.”

Teresa Ehman
Senior Director, Environmental Affairs, Air Canada

Transat offers tips for family travel to Greece this summer

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc/CNW

MONTREAL, May 27, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ -Whitewashed villages, temples with Doric columns, blue-green seas and stands of cypress trees: That’s just a glimpse of what awaits travellers heading to Greece and its islands this summer. Transat encourages Canadian families looking for adventure, leisure and history to take advantage of its various travel options for discovering Greece and shares tips for a successful summer holiday in this mythical land.

Preparing kids and stimulating into their imaginations
In her Experience Transat blog titled Découvrir la Grèce en famille, Nathalie Richard proposes a couple of ways for parents to get their children into the right spirit before a trip to Greece. She suggests gathering around a map of the Aegean Sea and making a game out of naming the Cyclades, an archipelago with no fewer than 250 islands, only 24 of which are inhabited. Come nightfall, parents can draw on Homer’s Odyssey for story time—it’s full of gripping tales, like how Odysseus escaped the cyclops.

Stimulating kids’ imaginations gives them a greater sense of wonder when they finally see the remnants of Ancient Greece in person. Other ways of building anticipation include counting down the days to takeoff on an official calendar and adding a Hellenic theme to the family menu. 

Setting aside some time to admire Athens
Athens is a lively city where tradition and modernity live side by side. It’s well worth exploring for a few days before heading off to other popular destinations, such as the Cyclades. 

Younger visitors will feel like adventurers when they climb the hill to the Acropolis and behold historic monuments such as the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike and Erechtheion. What’s more, the capital boasts eye-catching street art; kids will be captivated by the more than 2,000 artists’ murals that grace some of the city’s neighbourhoods.

For its part, the Hellenic Children’s Museum in Athens delights with an amusing array of immersive experiences, interactive exhibits, games and arts and crafts.

Savouring easy gastronomy 
For foodies, Greece offers the virtues of Mediterranean cooking, which has fresh, healthy options for everyone. Local delicacies younger palates might enjoy include tzatziki, Greek salad, stuffed vine leaves, gyros, moussaka and grilled fish, not to mention a number of honey‑sweetened desserts.

Booking packages, tours and cruises to simplify travel planning
Transat has options that let visitors enjoy Greece to the fullest without having to worry about the minutiae of travel. The company sells packages, tours and cruises where families can follow tried and true itineraries that come with a number of inclusions. 

For example, families can book a stay at an all-inclusive hotel such as Kinetta Beach Resort & Spa, about 60 km from Athens, and combine it with a 3- or 4-night cruise on board the Celestyal Olympia. A Greece Your Way package allows families to tour the islands at leisure and mingle with locals. There are several hotels where guests can relax as well as use as a pied-à-terre to go and explore, like the Creta Maris Beach Resort in Crete.

Avoiding peak season to save money and beat the crowds 
Most tourists flock to Greece in July and August. This makes May, June, September and, even, October a great time to go to avoid crowds and the higher rates that come with peak season. The temperatures are milder yet still pleasant; in other words, child-friendly conditions for exploring cultural and historical sites.

Air Transat’s benefits for families
Air Transat makes travel easier for families, with direct flights, attentive staff, exclusive check-in counters and priority boarding for families with young children. Meanwhile, the Kids Club welcomes mini-globetrotters aged 2 to 11 for free and gives them a membership kit filled with travel goodies, on-board surprises, and more. Families should also keep an eye out for the airline’s special planes adorned with the Kids Club smile and googlie eyes.

With Air Transat, families automatically get free standard seat selection. This way, children 12 and under and their parents (or legal guardians) on the same booking sit together on board. On its transatlantic flights, the airline offers its Kids Meal: mac and cheese served with apple sauce, cookies and juice.

Air Canada enters into Exclusive Agreement with Transat A.T. Inc. to pursue a Combination of the two Companies

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

Combination of two Quebec-based travel leaders to benefit all stakeholders; Control of Transat A.T. Inc. to remain in Quebec

  • Purchase of all outstanding Transat A.T. Inc. shares at $13 per share, subject to confirmatory due diligence, regulatory and shareholder approvals and final documentation.
  • Combination of two respected Quebec-based aviation and travel brands to create Montreal-based global leader in leisure, tourism and travel distribution offering Canadians choices to more destinations and promoting two-way tourism. 
  • Made-in-Quebec solution to maintain high-quality head office jobs and key functions in Montreal as well as provide a platform for future growth and employment.

MONTREAL, May 16, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada announced today that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Transat A.T. Inc. (Transat) regarding the proposed purchase by Air Canada of all issued and outstanding shares of Transat and its combination with Air Canada. The proposed transaction, valued at approximately $520 million or $13.00per share of Transat (on a fully-diluted basis), will create a Montreal-based global travel services company in leisure, tourism and travel distribution operating across Canada and internationally. Air Canada has all the necessary funding required to complete the transaction which is accordingly not subject to financing conditions.

“A combination with Transat represents a great opportunity for stakeholders of both companies.  This includes the shareholders of both Transat and Air Canada, employees of both companies, who will benefit from increased job security and growth prospects, and Canadian travellers, who will benefit from the merged company’s enhanced ability to participate as a leader in the highly competitive leisure travel market globally. The acquisition presents a unique opportunity to compete with the very best in the world when it comes to leisure travel. It will also allow us to further grow our hub at Montréal-Trudeau Airport, where we have added 35 new routes since 2012 to the benefit of the Montreal and Quebec communities, and from which we carried 10 million customers in 2018 alone,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

The transaction remains subject to the finalization of definitive agreements, confirmatory due diligence, regulatory and shareholder approvals and other closing conditions usual in this type of transaction. There is no assurance that the transaction will be completed as described in this news release or at all. No further announcements are expected to be made by Air Canada until the signature of the definitive agreements unless required by law. Air Canada has retained Morgan Stanley as its financial advisor.

Air Canada presence and investment in Montreal and the Province of Quebec.

Air Canada is proud to have been named one of Montreal’s top employers for each of the last six years. Headquartered in Montreal since 1949, Air Canada maintains one of the largest global head offices in Quebec. Air Canada employs 36,000 employees globally, with close to 10,000 of those in the province of Quebec where it has created over 2,600 new jobs over the last five years. Air Canada’s Executive Committee members (President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice-President, Operations) in addition to many other key members of the Executive Management team are all based in the Montreal Headquarters.   

Air Canada serves 11 airports across Quebec. The international reach of Air Canada’s network makes Quebec a gateway to the world and is an important tool for economic development, including tourism.

Montréal-Trudeau Airport is a strategic hub for Air Canada connecting its Quebec and Atlantic Canada domestic network, with its U.S. transborder, Caribbean, European, North African, Asian and South American flights. To the U.S. alone, Air Canada connects Montreal-Trudeau to some 24 cities.

Since 2012, Air Canada has launched 35 new routes from Montréal-Trudeau to global markets including Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Lima, Sao Paulo, and Casablanca. This growth has allowed Montreal to rank amongst the top 50 most internationally connected cities in the world and to become one of the largest North American hubs. 

Air Canada served more than 10 million passengers in Montreal in 2018. 

Transat AT Inc. announces execution of exclusivity agreement with Air Canada for the acquisition of Transat AT Inc

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc/CNW

MONTREAL, May 16, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Transat AT Inc. (“Transat”) announces that it has agreed to a 30-day period of exclusive negotiations with Air Canada pursuant to a letter of intent contemplating a transaction by which Air Canada would acquire all of the shares of Transat at a price of $13.00 per share. During such exclusivity period, it is contemplated that Air Canada will complete its due diligence review and the parties will finalize the negotiation of a definitive agreement regarding this transaction, the material terms of which are announced today.

“This announcement is good news for Transat”, said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. “This is an opportunity to team up with a great company that knows and understands our industry and has had undisputable success in the travel business. This represents the best prospect for not only maintaining, but growing over the long term the business and jobs that Transat has been developing in Quebec and elsewhere for more than 30 years.”

Transat would like to point out that its operations continue in the normal course and that there will be no change for its clients, suppliers and employees. In particular, travellers and clients of Transat can continue to travel and book their vacation packages with Transat like before.

Context of the Announcement

The Board of Directors of Transat has agreed to the exclusivity agreement based on a unanimous recommendation from a special committee of independent directors that was charged with examining any proposals for the acquisition of the shares of Transat, with the assistance of financial and legal advisors, and with considering all strategic options, as was announced on April 30, 2019. After being solicited by several parties and having considered available alternatives, the Board of Directors has determined that it is now in the interests of Transat and its stakeholders to finalize negotiations on an exclusive basis with Air Canada with a view to completing the transaction. In its recommendation, the special committee considered many factors, including the interests of the Corporation and its stakeholders, the economic and regulatory environment in which Transat operates, the proposed price of $13.00 per share, which represents a premium of 148.5% over the 20-day weighted average trading price prior to the announcement of April 30, 2019, a premium of 47.8% over the 20-day weighted average trading price for the period ended May 15, 2019, the terms of Air Canada’s proposal, which it deemed reasonable and acceptable taken as a whole, including the duration of the exclusivity period, the disclosure of the main terms of the letter of intent, the covenants of Air Canada and the contemplated terms of the definitive agreements.

Additional Terms of the Letter of Intent

The letter of intent sets forth certain terms that will be required in the definitive agreement. These terms include a break fee of $15 million payable by Transat in case of termination of the transaction, including upon acceptance of an unsolicited superior proposal, and a reverse break fee of a maximum of $40 million payable by Air Canada in the event that the agreement is terminated because regulatory or governmental approvals are not obtained. In addition, the non-solicitation provision will be subject to the usual withdrawal right based on fiduciary duties if an unsolicited proposal is made at a firm price per share that is at least $1.00 higher than the price offered by Air Canada, in the event such proposal is not matched by Air Canada. Moreover, the execution of a definitive agreement by Air Canada will be subject to the execution of support and voting agreements by certain large shareholders of Transat.

Finally, Transat has agreed to limit its undertakings and expenses relating to the implementation of its hotel strategy during the exclusivity period.

Any agreement will also contain numerous conditions customary for this type of transaction, including applicable regulatory approvals and the approval of the shareholders of Transat.

There is no assurance that a definitive agreement will be reached in relation to any transaction following the exclusivity period and the ongoing discussions. No assurance may be given that a transaction will occur in relation to the proposed transaction or otherwise, or regarding the definitive terms of such transaction, if any.

Quebecor CEO mulls Transat acquisition

News provided by TravelWeek.com/The Canadian Press

Quebecor CEO mulls Transat acquisition
Pierre Karl Peladeau

Friday, May 10, 2019 | By: The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — The head of communications company Quebecor Inc. says he is exploring a possible acquisition of Montreal-based tour operator Transat A.T., but another prospective buyer is already a step ahead.

Chief executive Pierre Karl Peladeau said Thursday he has commissioned a financial analysis by an investment firm.

“I believe it’s a very good brand. I think Quebecers like Transat,” he said Thursday after Quebecor’s annual shareholder meeting.

“I will continue to fight for Quebec companies to stay here. I think that that could be an interesting…opportunity.”

Peladeau, the controlling shareholder of Quebecor and son of its deceased founder, said he personally ordered the analysis – not his company – but “it’s premature to close any sorts of doors.”

Peladeau is not the only interested party. Montreal developer Vincent Chiara, who owns Groupe Mach, which bought the former CBC tower in Montreal in 2017, told The Canadian Press he has already submitted an offer following several months of talks.

“We had the idea of building a portfolio in the hospitality industry and they had a platform and projects in their plans to build exactly that,” said Chiara, referring to Transat’s $750-million plan to develop a hotel chain in Mexico’s Riviera Maya and the Caribbean.

He said Transat’s fleet of about 40 planes is particularly appealing to Groupe Mach, which until now has focused on Quebec real estate.

“They have the means to move the passengers who go to the destination…They have an important capacity to fill rooms and with this capacity, we eliminate a lot of risks for hotel development.

“Of course, we want to privatize…Our proposal is to buy out all the shareholders,” he added.

Quebec Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said that more than two potential buyers have their eyes on Transat.

The business is geared toward “knowledgeable adults,” he said in a scrum in Quebec City, noting the fierce competition of the airline and holiday tour industries.

“Historically, a lot of people have had failures…I’m not expecting to have 25 buyers.”

Transat confirmed last week it had spoken with several parties about a possible sale of the company.

Last year the travel company bought a pair of adjacent properties in the village of Puerto Morelos – less than 40 kilometres from Cancun – with the goal of building a beach resort.

Quebecor more than doubled its dividend as it reported its first-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago.

The media and telecommunications company said Thursday it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 11.25 cents per share, up from 5.5 cents.

The increased payment to shareholders came as Quebecor says it earned $189.0 million or 74 cents per share in the first quarter of 2019, up from $57.1 million or 24 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue totalled nearly $1.03 billion for the quarter ended March 31, compared with $1.00 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

On an adjusted basis, Montreal-based company said it earned 44 cents per share from continuing activities compared with 38 cents per share a year ago.

A first in Quebec: 1,200 participants expected to run YQB’s runway

Provided by Aéroport de Québec/CNW

QUÉBEC CITY, May 10, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – On Saturday, August 24, 2019, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) will be holding the first YQB 5K, where some 1,200 participants will have the chance to run the airport’s main runway. The YQB 5K is a unique opportunity for people in the Québec City area to see the airport from a different angle—one that’s normally not available to the public. This type of race has already proven successful at other Canadian airports, but this will be a first in Quebec. Avjet and Air Canada have partnered with the airport to sponsor the event.

“I’m thrilled with the idea of welcoming more than 1,000 people from the greater Québec City area to our airport. I can’t wait to bring them to the heart of the action, where planes take off and land every day. YQB’s employees and partners are working hard to make this an exciting experience for the runners and everyone who comes to cheer them on. The entire airport community has stepped up to help with this event, which will support two leading local organizations,” stated Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of YQB.

This promises to be a festive and family-friendly event with a quick course. Participants can take advantage of their trip to the airport to get a behind-the-scenes look at airport operations and see some interesting equipment, including aircraft.

The money raised for this event will go to the Fondation CERVO, which supports mental health research, and Centraide Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches, which supports a large network of community organizations.

Registration opens on May 10, 2019, at 5kmyqb.com. The first 200 participants will receive an early-bird rate.

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019
Time: 7AM to 12 PM
Location: Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
5K starting price: $30 early-bird rate (first 200 participants) and $35 normal rate until June 15
1.5K starting price: $10 per child

Thank you to our partners

This unique event is made possible by the help of numerous partners: Avjet, Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, PAL Airlines, Le Soleil and Rouge FM.

Air Transat introduces non-stop flights between Montreal and New Orleans (Louisiana)

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc/CNW

MONTREAL, May 9, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat, named the 2018 World’s Best Leisure Airline, is pleased to announce that it will add New Orleans, Louisiana, to its portfolio of fall and winter destinations. Beginning in November 2019, the airline will offer two direct flights a week from Montreal, giving travellers a chance to experience the festive atmosphere of jazz clubs or a contemplative stroll along the Bayou.

“With the steady demand for New Orleans, Air Transat is pleased to be the only airline to offer non-stop service from Montreal to this unique vacation destination, and to be enhancing its offering for next winter with this distinctive option,” says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer, Transat. “Adding this new route strengthens Air Transat’s status as a Canadian leader in leisure travel while also providing greater flexibility to business travellers visiting Louisiana, who will have the option of extending their stay.”

“We are extremely pleased to welcome this first direct connection to New Orleans from Montréal,” said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal. “Thanks to Air Transat, travellers will be able to discover a vibrant and culturally rich destination. Known as the birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans is definitely worth the trip! With this new link, YUL is further enhancing its air service and now offers a total of 152 direct destinations.”

“We are thrilled to have Air Transat provide this convenient direct connection between New Orleans and Montreal—two great North American cities with rich cultures and shared historical ties to France,” said Kevin Dolliole, Aviation Director for the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. “The addition of this new flight brings us to a total of 8 international destinations, which allows us to connect more and more people from around the world to everything New Orleans has to offer.”

“Tourisme Montréal is delighted with this first non-stop route between Louisiana and our metropolis, which will certainly help us reach our objective of welcoming 13.5 million tourists annually by 2022. Each year, more and more travellers visit us from the United States. This important addition opens up a promising market of people, which will certainly be open to discovering Montreal’s authenticity and creativity. I would like to congratulate Air Transat for its dynamism and its contribution, year after year, to the development of tourism in Montreal and Quebec, “said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

Air Transat will fly twice a week to New Orleans, on Thursdays and Sundays, beginning November 3, 2019. Details of Air Transat’s 2019 winter flight program will be announced shortly.  

Transat A.T. Inc. receives final court approval to increase permitted foreign ownership levels to the levels permitted under the Canada Transportation Act

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc

MONTREAL, May 8, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Transat A.T. Inc. (“Transat”) a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and active in air transportation, accommodation, travel packaging and distribution, is pleased to announce that the Quebec Superior Court issued earlier today a final order approving the previously announced plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act effecting amendments to Transat’s articles of incorporation to align the permitted level of non-Canadian ownership and control of its voting shares within its articles with those prescribed by the new definition of “Canadian” under the Canada Transportation Act (the “CTA”) as amended in June 2018.

Prior to the CTA amendments, no more than 25% of the voting interests of a Canadian air carrier (or a Canadian air carrier’s holding company) could be owned or controlled by non-Canadians. The Government of Canada’s stated purpose in implementing the CTA amendments is to attract more foreign investment and encourage growth in the aviation sector by increasing, from 25% to 49%, the permitted level of foreign ownership of Canadian air carriers. At the same time, the CTA amendments introduced two new limitations on voting ownership and control, by capping the voting rights of single non-Canadians and of the aggregate of non-Canadian air carriers at 25%.

Transat will file its amended articles and expects them to become effective on or about May 8, 2019. Further details regarding the amendments are set out in the management proxy circular of Transat dated March 19, 2019 and in Transat’s February 15, 2019 news release which are available on SEDAR under Transat’s profile at www.sedar.com.