Competition Bureau Approves Sale Of WestJet Airlines To Onex Corp.

The sale of WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA) to Onex Corp. (TSX:ONEX) has cleared another important hurdle.

The federal Canadian Competition Bureau has granted unconditional approval of the takeover, a major step towards completing the deal. The $5-billion acquisition, which includes the airline’s debt, was announced in May.

"Receiving unconditional approval from the Canadian Competition Bureau is another important step on our path to closing the transaction. We continue to engage with the relevant authorities on the remaining approvals," said WestJet President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Sims in a news release.

The acquisition is still subject to other closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. WestJet currently has 185 planes, more than 14,000 staff and flies to 114 destinations. The airline has said that it will remain headquartered in Calgary. The deal is expected to close by year’s end.