WestJet shareholders approve sale to Onex

WestJet Airlines Ltd. says its shareholders and option holders have overwhelmingly voted to approve its previously announced proposed sale to Onex Corp.

Westjet is based in Calgary.

More than 92.5 per cent of shareholders and option holders who voted at a special meeting on Tuesday were in favour of the proposed transaction that’s worth about $5 billion, including assumed debt.

Ed Sims
Ed Sims
WestJet’s president and CEO

“We are very pleased to obtain overwhelming support from our security holders at today’s special meeting. Receiving this support is an important step on our path to closing the transaction, and we continue to engage with the necessary authorities on the remaining approvals,” said Ed Sims, WestJet’s president and chief executive officer.

The total number of shares represented by shareholders present and by proxy at the meeting was 69.2 million, representing approximately 60 per cent of WestJet’s issued and outstanding common voting shares and variable voting shares. The total number of stock options represented by option holders present and by proxy at the meeting was 3.3 million, representing approximately 54 per cent of WestJet’s issued and outstanding stock options, said the company.

The transaction is still subject to other conditions to closing, including remaining regulatory approvals and final approval of the arrangement by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

In the deal, Onex and its affiliated funds will acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet for $31 per share, after which WestJet will operate as a privately-held company.

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Canada, Onex manages and invests capital in its private equity and credit platforms on behalf of investors from around the world.

In total, Onex has US$31 billion of assets under management, including US$6.6 billion of shareholder capital. Onex invests through its two private equity platforms, Onex Partners for larger transactions and ONCAP for middle market and smaller transactions, and Onex Credit. which manages primarily non-investment grade debt through collateralized loan obligations, private debt and other credit strategies.

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