The appointment of a new Minister of Transport in Ottawa and further delays in Europe make it highly improbable that Air Canada’s acquisition of Transat will close before the latter’s CEO, Calin Rovinescu, leaves on February 15.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Ontario MP Omar Alghabra to the helm of Transport as the government prepares to decide on the acquisition of Transat.
Mr. Alghabra assured that he did not “intend to delay anything”, while specifying that he wished to examine the file “in a thoughtful manner”.
“We hope that we will have a decision quickly on the transaction,” commented yesterday a spokesperson for Transat, Christophe — Hennebelle.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has still not set a new deadline for delivering its decision. Just before Christmas, the institution “stopped the clock” in the file, so that the deadline of February 9 no longer holds.
“They are constantly asking new questions and therefore they are constantly waiting for new answers” from Air Canada and Transat, said Mr. Hennebelle.
John Gradek, an air transport specialist, believes the decision from Brussels will not come before the end of February. If so, Transat would have to come to an agreement with Air Canada again to postpone the closing date of the transaction.
Mr. Gradek does not believe that the arrival of Mr. Alghabra will add sand to the gears in Ottawa. “The decision is already made,” he said. The only unknown now is the moment of its announcement. “
The Globe and Mail revealed earlier this week that businessman Pierre Karl Péladeau was prepared to shell out $ 6 per share for Transat.
This potential proposal places a value of $ 227 million on the tour operator, compared to $ 189 million for Air Canada’s cash offering ($ 5 per share) and $ 250 million for the same carrier’s stock offering, at current price. .