The Financial Post reports in its Friday edition that Air Canada has reached a deal to buy Transat A.T. for $520-million. The Post's Geoff Zochodne writes, however, that the $13-a-share transaction still faces a number of potential obstacles, including apprehension of a few major shareholders. The price tag on the all-cash "definitive" arrangement agreement is essentially the same as was announced in May, when Air Canada and Transat agreed to 30 days of exclusive talks. At $13, the price is below that of a bid from Quebec real estate developer Group Mach Inc., which proposed acquiring Transat for $14 a share. "This fully-funded cash transaction is the ideal platform for Transat's presence and jobs in Montreal, and therefore represents the best option for all our stakeholders: employees, suppliers, partners and shareholders," said Jean-Marc Eustache, chief executive officer of Transat. Shares of Air Canada gained 3.15 per cent Thursday, closing at $40.60, while Transat's stock price fell 5.4 per cent to $13.42. National Bank analyst Cameron Doerksen said in a note, "If a deal is consummated, we see it as positive for Air Canada noting that by no means is acquiring Transat a 'must-do' transaction for the company."
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