Transat executives take a hit from reduced value of sale to Air Canada: proxy

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MONTREAL — Nearly two dozen Transat A.T. executives and directors will see their proceeds from the company's sale to Air Canada drop following a dramatic reduction in the transaction's value.

They will split about $13 million for the shares of Air Transat's parent company and other financial instruments they hold, according to a circular sent to shareholders ahead of the Dec. 15 meeting to vote on the revised deal.

The sum is lower than the estimated $35 million they would have shared when the country's largest airline was willing to pay $18 for each Transat A.T. share in a transaction valued at $ 720 million.

Severe turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to rock the commercial aviation sector, led to a renegotiation between the two parties. Air Canada will pay $5 per share as part of the takeover, estimated at around $190 million, whose deadline has been extended to Feb. 15, 2021 from Dec. 27.

The $13 million does not take into account severance benefits totalling at least $11.3 million that could be granted to the five main executives of Transat AT if they are dismissed after the deal's closing next year.

The deal still requires approvals from the European Commission and Canada.

The full amount for the 23 officers, executives and directors may vary slightly because they have the option to convert the Transat shares they hold into Air Canada shares at a conversion price set at $17.47. Air Canada's shares were trading at $20.13 in Monday afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2021,

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

The Canadian Press