Ottawa Approves Sale Of WestJet Airlines To Onex Corp.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has approved the $3.5-billion acquisition of WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA) by Onex Corp (TSX:ONEX).

The Calgary-based airline said in a news release that the federal government has determined that the deal does not raise public-interest issues for national transportation in Canada.

WestJet and Onex entered a friendly deal in May of this year that will see Onex pay $31 per share cash for the airline, which will operate as a private company. The offer was a reduction from the preliminary price of $35.75 per share submitted in March due to uncertainties related to the grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets.

Ottawa’s approval of the sale following a review by the federal Transport Minister’s office was one of the conditions that needed to be met for the deal to close. The deal is also subject to other regulatory approvals and the approval of WestJet shareholders at an upcoming meeting on July 23.