Business

Group Mach waives financing condition for Transat takeover, seeks talks with company

The second bidder for the company that owns Air Transat says it no longer seeking help financing the deal from Quebec's provincial government, but says it is looking for an exclusive negotiation window with the company to hammer out a deal.

Quebec real estate firm is 2nd bidder for travel company after Air Canada

Group Mach, a Quebec real estate firm, is trying to buy Air Transat for $14 a share. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The second bidder for the company that owns Air Transat says it no longer seeking help financing the deal from Quebec's provincial government, but says it is looking for an exclusive negotiation window with the company to hammer out a deal.

Earlier this month, Group Mach Inc. came forward with a proposal to buy Transat A.T. Inc. that valued the company at $14 per share or more than half a billion dollars.

That offer came on the heels of word that Air Canada was trying to buy the travel company for $13 a share, a deal that was appealing enough for Transat's management to agree to an exclusive 30-day negotiation window with Air Canada, to hash out the fine print.

That window with Air Canada is set to expire on Wednesday, which is perhaps why Mach has come out with a reminder that they are still interested.

Mach, a real estate firm, was originally seeking the help of the Quebec government and the province's pension plan to help pay for the takeover, on the grounds that it would keep the company in Quebec and preserve all the jobs and operations. 

But the amended offer Mach is making on Tuesday no longer requires any financial assistance from the province. Instead, Mach is only asking Transat to stop negotiating with Air Canada, and start an exclusive negotiation window with them at a higher price point instead.

"We look forward to the Board of Directors of Transat working with us to solidify the long-term profitability of the company as a strong and independent global leading vertically integrated leisure travel brand under the banner of Transat," Mach said.