Onex’s acquisition of WestJet has cleared the first regulatory hurdle, having received approval from the Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau.
As previously reported, Onex entered into an agreement to purchase the outstanding shares of WestJet for CA$31.00 (US$23.5) per share. The total value of the transaction is expected to be in the region of $5bn.
The approval was given on the basis that the acquisition does not raise public interest issues related to national transportation.
Other conditions remain, such as court and other regulatory approvals, as well as approval by shareholders at a special meeting to be held on July 23.
Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO said, "We welcome the decision by the Minister of Transport, and we will continue to cooperate with the necessary authorities on the remaining regulatory approvals."
Following the acquisition, WestJet is to become a private company. Onex is listed on the TSX under the symbol “ONEX”.