Sunwing has received a takeover offer from an unnamed buyer, according to a Feb. 5 report published by the Globe and Mail.*
A non-disclosure agreement with the buyer prevents Stephen Hunter, chief executive of Sunwing, from providing more details, the report says.
“We have been approached recently,” Mr. Hunter told the Globe in an interview recently.
Sunwing is 51-per-cent owned by the family of Mr. Hunter while Germany-based tourism and airline company TUI Group owns 49 per cent.
The interdependent nature of Sunwing’s divisions complicate the prospect of any sale, added Mr. Hunter.
“The airline is a vehicle in order to get our package customer from point A to point B. So our airline really is the cost department within our tour operator. And therefore, one really can’t go without the other,” he said. “And of course, Sunwing vacations provides about 30 per cent of the customers to our own hotels.”
PAX has confirmed the validity of the Globe and Mail's story with Sunwing's communications department.
The news comes after Mr. Hunter spoke in favour of the pending Air Canada-Transat deal, noting that the transaction would be good for Canada's aviation industry.
“Unless we want Canada completely controlled by foreign carriers, we have to allow this,” Mr. Hunter told the Globe on Jan. 22. “Our main fear is, and what we’ve got to watch out for, is all the European and other international carriers coming in and taking market share away from Canadian airlines. And this is one way to defend them.”
Air Transat shareholders, in December, accepted a takeover bid from Air Canada in a deal worth $5 per share or $180 million.
*This story was updated on February 7, 2021 at 9:36 a.m. EST.
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