The appeal, filed to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), argues that the deal could result in WestJet being majority owned by foreign investors, which would violate federal foreign-ownership rules. It claimed that Onex’s private equity structure is “opaque,” and that the “fluidity” of its shareholder base could lead to the violation of federal ownership limits. (Globe and Mail)
Talking point: The news follows last week’s announcement from Transport Minister Marc Garneau that Air Canada’s acquisition of Transat, which shareholders approved on August 23, will face a “public interest assessment.” That deal is set to face regulatory scrutiny in Canada and Europe, where both airlines offer direct routes. Onex’s shareholders backed the $3.5-billion takeover of WestJet in July. Garneau approved the deal on July 24 and the Competition Bureau on August 13. Its final hurdle is CTA approval. Clive Beddoe, WestJet’s founder and chairman, said in May, when the deal was first announced, that the company will remain headquartered in Calgary.