The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that Group Mach says it has secured backing from the Quebec government for its bid for Transat AT, a day before Air Canada's exclusive talks to buy the airline and travel operator are set to expire.
The Globe's Eric Atkins writes that the Montreal real estate developer said on Tuesday that it has waived the finance conditions attached to its offer to buy Transat for $14 a share, in addition to dropping a requirement of support from two large Quebec investors in Transat, the Fonds de solidarite FTQ and the Caisse pension fund. Alfred Bugge, executive vice-president of Mach, said the agreement with the provincial government is confidential and would not provide details, but the agreement is non-binding.
"We don't have an agreement with the FTQ or Caisse," Mr. Bugge said. Transat's stock added 53 cents to close at $14.02 Tuesday. Mach's initial proposal to buy Transat, issued in a news release on June 4, was conditional on $120-million in backing from Investissement Quebec, the province's financing arm, and the support of the FTQ and the Caisse. Transat said on May 16 it would hold exclusive talks with Air Canada to be bought at $13 a share, or $520-million.
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