By the Caribbean Journal staff
Canada-based leisure carrier WestJet Airlines is being sold.
The company has entered into an agreement that provides for its acquisition by the Onex Corporation, a private equity firm.
The transaction value is approximately $5 billion, including assumed debt.
“Since our first flight in 1996, WestJet has been singularly focused on providing better options for the Canadian travelling public and this transaction retains that commitment,” said Clive Beddoe, WestJet’s Founder and Chairman. “I am particularly pleased that WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary and will continue to build on the success that our 14,000 WestJetters have created. Onex’ aerospace experience, history of positive employee relations and long-term orientation makes it an ideal partner for WestJetters, and I am excited about our future.”
WestJet has long had a strong presence in the Caribbean. Last year, it launched a new low-cost carrier called Swoop that also launched operations in the Caribbean.
“We are delighted to continue the journey of building an airline based on a growing network, providing competitive airfares and more choice to, from and within Canada, for communities large and small. Integral to this relationship is a commitment to our employees, and our unique ownership-driven culture.”
The investment will be led by Onex Partners, the company’s private-equity arm.