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Quebec developer makes formal buyout offer to Transat, outbidding Air Canada

An Air Transat sign is seen Tuesday, May 31, 2016 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL — A Quebec developer who promised a takeover proposal for Transat AT Inc. has made good on his word, outbidding Air Canada in the process.

Vincent Chiara of Group Mach Inc. filed a formal offer with the tour operator Thursday.

The Montreal real estate heavyweight says he has proposed to acquire all of Transat’s voting shares for $14 each or $527.6 million.

Transat began exclusive talks with Air Canada, set to end on June 26, after the country’s largest airline made a bid of $13 per share or about $520 million last month.

Transat confirmed Friday it received Chiara’s proposal and said the offer, which would take the publicly held company private, is subject to financing conditions and a due diligence process. The travel company added that Air Canada is expected to complete its own due diligence in order to finalize a definitive agreement, but noted there was no guarantee that one will be reached.

Chiara’s rival bid includes trying to convince the Quebec government to finance nearly one-quarter of the purchase. He says he submitted a business plan to Investissement Quebec earlier this month.

 

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

The Canadian Press