WestJet Airlines, Canada’s second-largest airline, has agreed to be purchased by Canadian private equity firm Onex in a C$3.5 billion ($2.6 billion) deal.
The acquisition is valued at C$5 billion ($3.7 billion) including debt.
This is an all-cash transaction, and under the terms, Onex will acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet. WestJet will operate as a privately-held company.
WestJet Airlines remains firmly committed to Calgary and Alberta, CEO Ed Sims said in an interview, reported the Calgary Herald. There will be no changes for the company’s 14,000 employees and the airline’s headquarters will remain in Calgary.
Onex Corp. is owned by billionaire Gerry Schwartz, who tried and failed to acquire and merge Canadian Airlines and Air Canada in a hostile takeover bid 20 years.