NEWS

AIR CANADA UPS BID FOR TRANSAT TO $18 PER SHARE

Air Canada and Transat A.T. Inc. announced earlier this week that Air Canada has agreed to increase the purchase price for the acquisition of all issued and outstanding shares of Transat, from $13 to $18 per share and have amended the Arrangement Agreement dated June 27, 2019 accordingly.

Based on the increased consideration, the value of the all-cash transaction is approximately $720 million.

Rovinescu.

As well, Air Canada has also entered into a lock-up and support agreement with Transat’s largest shareholder, Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc., who beneficially owns or has control or direction over 7,277,104 Class B voting shares or approximately 19.3% of all issued and outstanding shares of Transat.

Under the terms of its Lock-up and Support Agreement, Letko Brosseau has agreed to support and vote all of the Class B voting shares of Transat it controls at the Special Meeting of Shareholders of Transat on Aug. 23 or at any adjournment or postponement thereof, in favour of Air Canada’s acquisition of Transat.

Amendments to the Arrangement Agreement between Air Canada and Transat were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Transat and its Special Committee, and are included in an Amending Agreement that provides for the following:

  • An increase in the price payable by Air Canada from $13 to $18 per share, for 100% of all issued and outstanding Class A and Class B shares of Transat.
  • An increase in the break fee payable by Transat from $15 million to $40 million in case of termination of the agreement in certain circumstances, including upon acceptance of a Superior Proposal that is not matched by Air Canada.
  • A change to the definition of Superior Proposal under the Arrangement Agreement, from a third-party unsolicited bona fide written acquisition proposal, made at a firm price per share equal to or exceeding $14 to one that must be equal to or exceed $19 in cash.

The terms and conditions of the Arrangement Agreement otherwise remain unchanged.

Air Canada’s president and chief executive officer, Calin Rovinescu commented that, “After extensive consultations with Letko Brosseau and several other large shareholders of Transat, we agreed to materially increase our price to ensure the transaction receives the necessary level of support at the Special Meeting of Shareholders of Transat.”

Eustache.

Rovinescu continued, “We are therefore very pleased to have received Letko Brosseau’s strong endorsement for our transaction. We know this achieves the best possible outcome for all stakeholders. For shareholders of Transat and Air Canada, the combination delivers excellent value, while also providing increased job security for both companies’ employees through greater growth prospects. Air Canada intends to preserve the Transat and Air Transat brands and maintain the Transat head office and its key functions in Montreal.”

Air Canada’s boss also pointed out that, “Travellers will benefit from the merged companies’ enhanced capabilities in the highly competitive, global leisure travel market and from access to new destinations, more connecting traffic and increased frequencies. The Quebec economy will derive maximum advantage of having a Montreal-based, growth-oriented global champion in aviation, the world’s most international business, spurring more employment and securing Montreal’s position as a leader among world aviation centres.”

Transat’s president and chief executive officer, Jean-Marc Eustache said, “We are very pleased by the added stability brought about by Air Canada’s increased bid as supported by Transat’s largest shareholder, Letko Brosseau. We appreciate the time and energy that Air Canada has spent in extensive consultations with our shareholders, in addition to our own efforts, with a view to ensuring the best outcome for all stakeholders.”

And Eustache added, “This fully funded cash transaction is the ideal platform for Transat’s continued presence and growth in Montreal. We look forward to joining forces with a proven and successful player in our highly competitive and complex industry.”


SANDALS’ ‘LET’S TALK’ WEBINARS CONTINUE

The August schedule of Sandals’ weekly “Let’s Talk” webinar series continues.

The fast-paced online sessions – conducted exclusively for Canadian agents – are just 30 minutes long, but are full of lots of important information such as sales and marketing tips, details on Canadian-specific booking incentives and the latest product updates directly from the resorts’ management teams in the Caribbean.

Simply by registering, agents will also receive a recorded version post-webinar that they can play back at their leisure in the event that they are unable to participate during the live session.

The dates are as follows: Aug. 16, Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, 1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST. Learn about the most happening resort in Jamaica that’s happening now, including the chic Ochi Beach Club exclusive to Sandals guests. May 22, Groups, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. EST. Join Grant Lawlor, national groups manager, Unique Vacations Can-ada Inc. as he explains the various types of groups available to book at Sandals and Beaches Resorts, as well as the different ways to book a group. It’s easier than agents think. Aug. 23 – Beaches Negril, 1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST. Experience the very first Beaches resort and learn why it’s “Negril’s Ultimate Family Beach Resort.”

To register, Canadian agents can send an e-mail – that includes their IATA number – to webinars@uvisandals.ca to receive further details and log-in instructions.


UNIVERSAL TO OPEN NEW THEME PARK

Universal Orlando Resort has announced plans to open a fourth theme park – Epic Universal.

According to officials, Universal’s Epic Universe will “offer an entirely new level of experiences that will forever redefine theme park entertainment. Guests will venture beyond their wildest imagination, travelling into ‘beloved stories’ and through vibrant lands on adventures where the journey is as astounding as the destination.”

The new location, which will sit on more than 750 acres, will feature a theme park, an entertainment centre, hotels, shops, restaurants and more.

It will be Universal’s first new property since the opening of water park Volcano Bay in May 2017.


AIR CANADA MAKES SOME CHANGES

Air Canada’s, vice-president, global sales and alliances, John Macleod recently announced some appointments in global sales.

The appointments, which are effective immediately, see:

  • Timothy Liu, previously senior director, commercial strategy, take on the role of managing director, sales planning and effectiveness. This is a new role that is designed to remove current duplication in the sales organization and to centralize and build a centre of excellence to support our field sales teams, our agency partners and Corporate sales team. Liu will continue to report to John Macleod.
  • Virgilio Russi, previously senior director – sales Canada, has been appointed managing director, international sales. Russi replaces Lui in his previous position and will be responsible for sales strategies and achieving sales targets in all International markets. Russi will also continue to lead Air Canada’s participation in the Trans-Atlantic Joint Venture. He continues to report to Macleod.
  • Lisa Pierce, previously, senior director, USA sales and market development, is appointed to the new position of managing director, Canada and USA sales, and continues to report to Macleod. In her expanded role, Pierce will lead the North American sales team and will be responsible for developing and implementing the sales strategies to ensure North American targets are achieved.
  • Vincent Gauthier-Dore, previously director sales – USA, has been appointed senior director, sales – USA, replacing Pierce in her previous role and continuing to report to her. In his new role Gauthier-Dore will lead the USA sales team and will be responsible for delivering the USA origin sales targets.

Friday (Aug. 9) was Emirates Day at the Rogers Cup, prompting Emirates Country Manager, Canada, Don McWilliam, to host a group of travel industry personnel in a private suite for some quarter-final action. Those on hand were lucky enough to see Canadian phenom Bianca Andreescu, who went on to win the tournament. McWilliam is pictured here with two Emirates flight attendants.