European Commission delays decision on Air Canada purchase of Transat until January

·1 min read

MONTREAL — European regulatory authorities are delaying their decision on approving the proposed purchase of Transat A.T. by Air Canada until early next year.

The European Commission says it will decide by Jan. 8 instead of its previous deadline of Dec. 11.

In addition to a sharp downward revision of the value to $190 million from $720 million, the deadline for the sale initially set for Dec. 27 was postponed to Feb. 15.

Canada's largest airline is now offering $5 for each share of the Quebec tour operator, compared with $18 previously. This proposal will be the subject of another vote and must obtain the support of at least two-thirds of the holders of Transat A. T. securities at a meeting scheduled for Dec. 15.

European regulators had decided to take a deeper look into the deal after raising concerns that the combination could lead to higher prices and lower supply.

The European Commission’s preliminary analysis notably pointed out that competition could diminish on 33 routes between Canada and Europe if Air Canada acquires Transat.

In March, the Competition Bureau of Canada also had a negative reception to the transaction, but its analysis was conducted before the outbreak of the pandemic.

The federal government has yet to give its blessing to the takeover.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRZ, TSX:AC)

The Canadian Press