Transat A.T. Inc Takeover Rumours Are 'Without Merit'
Change to Transat's shareholder voting rules similar to changes made by Air Canada and WestJet; do not signal imminent takeover
01-24-2014 By: Zachary-Cy Vanasse
"Rumours about a possible takeover process are without merit," Debbie Cabana, communications and media relations advisor, Transat A.T. Inc., told THN.
The rumours sprung from a press release issued on Thursday outlining the technical changes in Transat's share structure that will be submitted to the vote of shareholders in March.
Transat A.T. Inc. was granted a conditional exemption from applicable takeover and related early warning reporting requirements. That is to say, it is an amendment to Transat A.T. Inc's shareholder rights plan.
The amendment would effectively change the number of votes each variable voting share - Transat A.T. Inc. has two classes (Class A and Class B ) - are worth when certain thresholds are met.
Class A shares, of which there are approximately 1.1. million, are owned by non-Canadians. Class B shares, of which there are about 38 million, are owned by Canadians.
With the decision, both categories of voting shares will be treated as a single class of shares for the purposes of applicable takeover bid requirements and reporting requirements under Canadian securities laws.
This technical change does not change the requirement under Canada's Transportation Act that would limit foreign votes to 25 per cent.
Air Canada and WestJet both made similar changes to their own share structure in 2013.
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