The Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) issued today its determination that WestJet and Swoop Inc. would continue to meet the Canadian ownership and control requirements following the proposed acquisition of WestJet Airlines Ltd. by an affiliate of Onex.
The Agency’s determination that WestJet and Swoop Inc. would remain Canadian is on the condition that Onex amends its by-laws to ensure that any matters pertaining to and affecting WestJet Airlines Ltd, WestJet and Swoop Inc, are voted on at Board of Directors’ meetings where a majority of Canadian directors are present.
The Agency has directed Onex to provide copies of any document, previously submitted as draft, in their final executed form, within 60 days of the completed transaction.
The Agency reminded Onex that the requirement to be Canadian is an ongoing requirement, and that for WestJet and Swoop Inc. to remain Canadian, Onex must remain Canadian. WestJet and Swoop Inc. must notify the Agency of any change to their Canadian status.
On May 31, 2019, Onex, a publicly-traded company and asset manager, filed an application with the Agency requesting an advance determination as to whether WestJet and Swoop Inc. would continue to meet the Canadian ownership and control requirements following the proposed acquisition. WestJet Airlines Ltd. is the parent company to WestJet and Swoop Inc., which hold Agency licences. Onex proposed to acquire 100% of the company through an affiliate company.
After careful deliberation, the Agency concluded that the proposed transaction satisfied Canadian ownership and control in fact requirements, as defined in the Canada Transportation Act (Act), subject to certain conditions.
As stated in the Act, carriers must be Canadian and controlled in fact by Canadians in order to hold a domestic licence.