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WestJet announces first regulatory approval in its proposed acquisition by Onex

CALGARY , June 24, 2019 /CNW/ - WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WJA.TO) ("WestJet") announced that Onex Corporation (ONEX.TO) ("Onex") has received approval from the Minister of Transport ( Canada ) on the basis that the proposed acquisition of WestJet by Onex does not raise public interest issues as related to national transportation. 

WestJet and Onex entered into a definitive agreement on May 12, 2019 , for the proposed acquisition of WestJet by Onex under a plan of arrangement pursuant to which each outstanding share of WestJet will be exchanged for $31.00 in cash (the "Arrangement").

Receipt of the Minister of Transport's approval is one of the conditions to closing of the Arrangement.

Ed Sims , WestJet President and CEO said, "We welcome the decision by the Minister of Transport, and we will continue to cooperate with the necessary authorities on the remaining regulatory approvals."

The Arrangement is still subject to other conditions to closing including other regulatory approvals, approval by the securityholders of WestJet at a special meeting to be held on July 23, 2019 and final approval of the Arrangement by the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta .

Further information regarding the Arrangement is provided in WestJet's management information circular in respect of the special securityholders meeting. Assuming the approval of the Arrangement by WestJet's securityholders and the timely receipt of regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the latter part of 2019. 

Caution regarding forward-looking information

Certain information set forth in this news release including, without limitation, WestJet's and Onex's management's expectations with respect to: the anticipated timing for the special meeting to approve the transaction; the timing and anticipated receipt of required regulatory approvals; and the anticipated timing for closing the transaction, is forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws.  Forward-looking information may in some cases be identified by words such as "will", "anticipates", "expects", "intends" and similar expressions suggesting future events or future performance.

By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's and Onex's control.  The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by WestJet, including expectations and assumptions concerning the receipt, in a timely manner, of regulatory, securityholder and court approvals in respect of the transaction.

Forward-looking information is subject to various risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or expectations expressed in this news release.  The key risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: general global economic, market and business conditions; governmental and regulatory requirements and actions by governmental authorities; relationships with employees, customers, business partners and competitors; and diversion of management time on the transaction.  There are also risks that are inherent in the nature of the transaction, including failure to satisfy the conditions to the completion of the transaction and failure to obtain any required regulatory and other approvals (or to do so in a timely manner).  The anticipated timeline for completion of the transaction may change for a number of reasons, including the inability to secure necessary regulatory, court or other approvals in the time assumed or the need for additional time to satisfy the conditions to the completion of the transaction.  As a result of the foregoing, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking information contained in this news release concerning the timing of the transaction.  A comprehensive discussion of other risks that impact WestJet can also be found in WestJet's public reports and filings which are available under WestJet's profile at www.sedar.com.

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information.  WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law. 

About WestJet
Together with WestJet's regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas.  Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.

WestJet is proud to be recognized as Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice winner – North America for 2017 and 2018 in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines. The airline was also named the Travellers' Choice Winner – Economy, North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook.

WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.  

Recent recognition includes:
2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018/2017 Winner Among Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018 Winner – Economy, North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada)
2018 North America's Best Low-Cost Airline (Skytrax)
2018/2017/2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria )

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet
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Read the WestJet blog at blog.westjet.com

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership


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