Transat Plan B: Other voices are raised

(Montreal) After Caisse de depot et placement du Québec (CDPQ), other voices are being raised to encourage Transat AT to evaluate its options should the sale to Air Canada fail.


Julian Arsenault
The Canadian Press

Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, the second largest shareholder of the Quebec tour operator, and Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon indicated Friday that they shared the recommendations made the day before by the president and CEO of Quebec Wool Bottom Company. Charles Emond.

If the arrangement between Transat AT and Air Canada remains in effect, the parties can nevertheless terminate it at any time since the February 15 deadline for completing the deal – which received a conditional green light from Ottawa, but is still awaiting approval from the European Commission – has not been extended. .

“Plan B is more important than at any time since the deadline has passed. We want Transat to look at Plan B. This is important for the future of the company,” Fonds de Solidarité FTQ spokesperson Patrick McCoylekn confirmed.

The organization owns approximately 11.55% of the outstanding shares in the parent company of Air Transat, ahead of CDPQ, which has a stake of about 5.8%.

Letko and Brosseau & Associés are the number one shareholders with a share of 13.7%. It was not possible to get a comment from the Montreal company on Friday afternoon.

For his part, on the sidelines of an economic announcement in Montreal, Mr. Fitzgibbon said he agrees with the senior president of Caisse given that Air Canada can withdraw at any time.

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“If Plan B is implemented, the Quebec government will already be in place with an adequate financial structure,” he said. You have to take a risk, but not too many risks. ”

However, the FTQ Solidarity Fund and the Economy Minister did not specifically indicate whether Transat AT’s board of directors should seriously consider the $ 5 a share proposal from entrepreneur Pierre Carl Bellado.

For governance advisor Michael Nadu, already a senior CDPQ official, the public tours of the FTQ Solidarity Fund and Caisse send a clear signal to the tour operator managers, who have always reiterated their support for the Air Canada proposal.

“What they say is, ‘Hurry up and find something else, try to see if there are other options,'” he explained in an interview. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean going to see Mister Bellado.”

The European Commission, which is awaiting information from Transat AT and Air Canada, suspended its assessment on December 22. The tour operator expects to make a decision by the end of June.

Air Canada is now offering $ 5 per share of Transat A. T at a bid of 190 million. Air Canada shareholders can choose 0.2862 Air Canada shares. On Friday afternoon, this option was valued at $ 7.18 per share.

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