Onex Corporation (“Onex”) and WestJet Airlines Ltd. (“WestJet”) announced on December 11, 2019 that they have completed their previously announced purchase agreement valued at approximately $5 billion including assumed debt. DLA Piper Canada acted as counsel for Onex Corporation on various aspects of what is the largest private equity purchase of an airline in aviation history, including with respect to aviation law, financing matters and corporate law matters.
Onex previously announced on May 13, 2019, that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet for $31.00 each. Upon completion of the agreement WestJet now operates as a privately-held company.
Toronto based Onex is a leading private equity firm with approximately US$31 billion of assets under management. WestJet Airlines is a leading Canadian airline providing air services to over 100 destinations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, working with lead counsel Goodmans LLP and US counsel Fried Frank, acted as counsel for Onex on various aspects of this transaction. DLA Piper’s team was led by Laura Safran, Q.C. and included Andrew Lloyd, Prasad Taksal, Ryana Mather, Matthew Pollock, David Stratton, Q.C., Eric Belli-Bivar, Doug Shields, Rachel Hamilton, Veronica Monteiro, Michael Styczen, Sandra Mah and Lauren Storwick.
With a roster of internationally recognized senior practitioners with broad experience covering all aspects of aviation law, DLA Piper Canada’s Aviation group is unrivalled in the range and scope of aviation law practice in Canada. The group is consistently ranked as industry leaders by legal ranking guides including Chambers Canada, the Legal 500 Canada, Best Lawyers in Canada and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and many of our individual practitioners are listed in major international aviation law lists and guides as globally recognized experts.