Group Mach offers $14 per share in bid to block Transat sale to Air Canada


Montreal real estate developer Group Mach is offering Transat A.T. shareholders $14 per share in an effort to scoop up 19.5 per cent of the airline's shares in order to block its sale to Air Canada.

Group Mach is making the offer to Class B shareholders, representing an eight per cent premium over Air Canada's offer of $13 per share which was approved by Transat's board in June.

The developer says in a statement that it believes Air Canada undervalues Transat, that its sale process to Air Canada was flawed and that Air Canada's offer creates uncertainty for Transat employees and its head office.

Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Air Canada offer on Aug. 23. It requires approval from two-thirds to go through, and faces resistance from major Transat shareholders who feel the price is too low.

Letko, Brosseau and Associates and PenderFund Capital Management, which control about 22.06 per cent of Transat shares, have said they would vote against the agreement if the purchase price remained at $13 per share.

The deadline for Group Mach's offer expires Aug. 13.