The Globe and Mail reports in its Monday edition that Quebec's wading into the sale of holiday company Transat AT could have unintended market consequences, but the government will not make "a stupid investment," the province's Economy Minister says.
The Globe's Nicolas Van Praet quotes Pierre Fitzgibbon as saying in response to a question about the effects of Quebec intervening in the private sector, "I think the criticism is fair that we may be creating an overbidding in the process."
Premier Francois Legault's Quebec government has said it would consider requests for financial backing from bidders for Transat that support its political objectives for the company -- namely, staying in Quebec. It has mandated Investissement Quebec to analyze those requests. While observers have warned for weeks that Quebec's involvement could drive away some would-be buyers, the province's move has attracted other suitors to the bidding process.
At least two groups have approached the Quebec government on its willingness to provide financial backing for a bid to counter Air Canada's current $13 per share offer, which values Transat at about $520-million. The Transat board accepted Air Canada's all-cash bid last week.
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