Published on Monday, May 13, 2019

Private equity firm to buy WestJet

Canada's second largest carrier, WestJet Airlines, is to change hands.

It is being acquired for C$3.5 billion ($2.6 billion) by private equity group Onex Corp.

The deal comes after Onex carried out a strategic review of the airline earlier in the spring.

Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the latter part of 2019 or early 2020.

Clive Beddoe, WestJet co-founder and chairman, said: "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."

The airline's shares jumped 63% in Toronto trading when the news was announced.

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