The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday edition that Transat's share price jumped past $14 on Wednesday, the day Air Canada's exclusive talks to buy the airline and travel operator expired. The Globe's Eric Atkins writes that the two companies have in been in negotiations for 30 days for a takeover that would merge Canada's largest and third-largest airlines at $13 a share, or $520-million. Transat shares closed at $14.19 Wednesday as investors signalled their belief that Air Canada -- or another buyer -- will pay more than that. Montreal real estate developer Groupe Mach has proposed buying Transat for $14 a share, and on Tuesday positioned itself as a more credible bidder by dropping a condition that it receive $120-million in financing from the Province of Quebec. Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec's Economy Minister, said on Wednesday that the provincial government's finance arm, Investissement Quebec, told Mach it would support its bid for Transat on certain conditions, including that Mach find another investor to share the risk and that Mach be invited by the vacation company into its data room to perform due diligence. The government did not agree to commit the entire $120-million Mach requested, Mr. Fitzgibbon said.
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