The deal is valued at approximately $5 billion
Onex Corp.’s $5-billion acquisition of WestJet Airlines Ltd., is being dubbed “the largest private equity purchase of an airline in aviation history.”
Goodmans LLP led the Canadian legal team on corporate, regulatory, financing, tax and labour and benefits aspects, with a team that included Dale Lastman, Robert Vaux, Chris Sunstrum, Jamie Van Diepen, David Rosner, Celia Rhea, Mitchell Sherman, Carrie Smit, Susan Garvie and John Alton.
In a DLA Piper news release from Dec. 19, the firm announced the completion of the agreement for Onex to purchase all of WestJet’s outstanding shares for $31 each. Assumed debt was also considered in computing the total value.
Led by partner Laura Safran, DLA Piper’s team advised Onex on aspects of the deal ranging from financing, aviation law and corporate law. The team also included Andrew Lloyd, Prasad Taksal, Ryana Mather, Matthew Pollock, David Stratton, Eric Belli-Bivar, Doug Shields, Rachel Hamilton, Veronica Monteiro, Michael Styczen, Sandra Mah and Lauren Storwick.
Following completion of the deal, WestJet is now considered a privately-held company. WestJet offers flights to 100 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Private equity company Onex was also advised by Goodmans LLP and international firm Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Representing Onex as its U.S. counsel, Fried Frank assisted it in securing the necessary financing for the transaction.