Following the sharp downward revision of the Transat share price offered yesterday by Air Canada, I invite the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Fonds de solidarité de la FTQ to jump at the opportunity to refuse to deposit their respective blocks of Transat shares.
And, of course, I invite all the other shareholders of Transat to do the same by rejecting Air Canada’s offer.
Instead of $ 18 per share, Air Canada senior management agreed with Transat’s board of directors to finally offer only $ 5 to Transat shareholders to deposit their shares in the framework of the transaction. offer to acquire its popular Quebec competitor.
Of the $ 720 million it initially offered to grab Transat, Air Canada would ultimately only pay a maximum of $ 200 million under the new agreement.
I am willing to believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disastrous effect on the airline industry and the vacation travel industry, but to sell Transat to Air Canada for a pittance, it’s deplorable.
At $ 5 a share, that’s 72% less than the $ 18 price Air Canada was offering to pay before COVID-19.
FIND ANOTHER BUYER
I suggest that the management of the Caisse and that of the Fonds de la FTQ make all the necessary efforts to try to find a Quebec company with which they could present a counter-offer that is a little more generous for the shareholders of Transat than that of ‘Air Canada.
Between them, the Caisse and the Fonds FTQ currently hold 17.5% of the shares outstanding.
In addition, I find that this would also be an opportunity for Premier François Legault and his Minister of the Economy Pierre Fitzgibbon to support the efforts of a potential Quebec buyer for Transat.
Legault and Fitzgibbon could thereby help make Transat the number 1 air carrier to serve the regions of Quebec that Air Canada has completely neglected.
TRANSAT IS WORTH THE CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
If the Legault government were ready to invest $ 262 million in the rescue of Cirque du Soleil in order to preserve its head office, I do not see why it could not, through Investissement Québec, participate financially in the creation of a Quebec consortium to acquire Transat and enable it to survive in this period of global crisis in air transport.
I would like to remind the Legault government, the Caisse and the FTQ Solidarity Fund that Transat is one of the largest integrated international tourism companies, specializing in vacation travel in the world.
“Offering vacation packages, hotel stays and air connections under the Transat and Air Transat brands, the company is present in some sixty destinations in more than 25 countries in America and Europe. “
Normally, Transat has 5,000 employees to its credit.
There is no doubt that its business volume has fallen sharply in these times of COVID-19.
But if Air Canada finds it a good deal to acquire Transat, that shows that Transat has a future.