Monday,  August 26, 2019  3:32 am

EXCLUSIVE: Transat further discusses reasons behind potential transaction


EXCLUSIVE: Transat further discusses reasons behind potential transaction
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

Transat AT Inc. has shed more light on yesterday's announcement, in which the company stated it's currently in preliminary discussions with more than one party concerning a potential transaction involving the acquisition of the corporation.

READ MORE: Transat looking to sell

Yesterday evening, the company held its Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders, where 12 candidates for the Transat director positions were elected by a majority of votes cast by shareholders or their proxies attending the meeting.

The Transat Board of Directors consists of Raymond Bachand (lead director since 2018), Louis-Marie Beaulieu, Lucie Chabot, Lina De Cesare, W. Brian Edwards, Susan Kudzman, Jean-Yves Leblanc, Ian Rae, Jacques Simoneau, Louise St-Pierre, Philippe Sureau, and Jean-Marc Eustache, co-founder of Transat, and its chairman of the Board, president and chief executive officer.

How will business be affected?

Yesterday's announcement stated that the current situation will have no impact on the clients or employees of Transat, nor on its operations, which are continuing as usual.

"The discussions, which are preliminary, involve Transat AT Inc., meaning the publicly-listed parent company, and not Air Transat as a separate entity," Christophe Hennebelle, vice-president, human resources and corporate affairs, Transat, told PAX in an exclusive interview.

Back in March, Transat A.T. Inc. reported a loss of $49.6 million in its latest quarter compared with a loss of $3.2 million a year earlier as it was impacted by rising costs. Prior to that, Transat sold its Jonview Canada tour business to Japanese travel company H.I.S. Co. Ltd. for a reported $44 million CAD in October 2017.

When asked if Transat AT Inc. was considering an outside buyer, such as the case with the sale of Jonview Canada, Hennebelle said that although the corporation cannot disclose that information at this time, "non-Canadians cannot own more than 49 per cent of an airline, with a limit at 25% for any non-Canadian individual party and also 25% for all non-Canadian airlines collectively, if applicable."


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