WestJet to be taken private in C$3.5B cash deal

Canada’s WestJet Airlines Ltd said on Monday it will be acquired by private equity firm Onex Corp in an all-cash deal for C$3.53 billion ($2.63 billion).

Including debt, the deal is valued at about C$5 billion.

As part of the deal, WestJet shareholders will receive C$31 for each share held, representing an about 67% premium to its closing price on Friday.

The investment will be led by Onex Partners, Onex’s private equity platform focused on larger investment opportunities and WestJet’s board has recommended that its shareholders vote in favor of the deal.

The private equity fund has a history of investing in aerospace, having previously held a major stake in Boeing supplier Spirit Aerosystems.

The deal is expected to close in the latter part of this year or early next year, the company said.

CIBC Capital Markets and BofA Merrill Lynch were the financial advisers to WestJet, while Barclays, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets advised Onex.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell