WestJet to be sold in friendly deal to Onex Corp. for $5 billion

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rudder
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by rudder » Mon May 13, 2019 8:56 am

cloak wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:54 am
rudder wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:32 am

I would watch for asset divestiture and laser focus on the bottom line at the new ONEX subsidiary of WJA.
And which asset would that be, the one that competes with/bothers you?!! You would like that, wouldn't you?!

Not only is it possible, rather quite likely, that Onex may be doing things slightly differently than happened at Air Canada, not necessarily to demonstrate what opportunity they missed, but also really develop the product for its full potential first and then weigh its options. It's good investment.
Relax. Not trying to suggest impending job losses for any WJ employee.

Sale/leaseback of owned aircraft also constitutes asset divestiture.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Fanblade » Mon May 13, 2019 9:04 am

https://www.flyleasing.com/

Onyx owns 50% of fly leasing in partnership with BBAM.

https://www.bbam.com/
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Re: WestJet to be sold in friendly deal to Onex Corp. for $5 billion

Post by Heliian » Mon May 13, 2019 9:17 am

Pump and dump.

Westjet has been struggling for years now and onex is absorbing 1.5 billion in debt. How they plan on making a profit on this, I don't know. Maybe push swoop and sell all wj assets as said above.

Better than wj folding and leaving everyone in the lurch, for now.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by cloak » Mon May 13, 2019 9:24 am

rudder wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:56 am
cloak wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:54 am
rudder wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:32 am

I would watch for asset divestiture and laser focus on the bottom line at the new ONEX subsidiary of WJA.
And which asset would that be, the one that competes with/bothers you?!! You would like that, wouldn't you?!

Not only is it possible, rather quite likely, that Onex may be doing things slightly differently than happened at Air Canada, not necessarily to demonstrate what opportunity they missed, but also really develop the product for its full potential first and then weigh its options. It's good investment.
Relax. Not trying to suggest impending job losses for any WJ employee.

Sale/leaseback of owned aircraft also constitutes asset divestiture.
Oh I'm very relaxed, thank you! Just amusing that two hours into the announcement some think they have this whole thing figured out!!
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by pianokeys » Mon May 13, 2019 9:35 am

Diadem wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:47 am
tbaylx wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:39 am
ONEX buys companies, fixes them up and sells them for a profit. Westjet has been trying to be everything to everybody. If i was a betting man I'd say ONEX takes Westjet back to it's core profitability model and sells off the extras like Swoop, Encore, 767's etc. Going to be an interesting next few years.
So they're going to abandon their highly-profitable Hawaiian routes out of everywhere but Vancouver, and lose all the connecting passengers Encore moves onto the jets, just to return to an outdated business model that was created when Canadian Airlines still existed?
tbaylx doesn't have the best track record with these kinds of predictions, and he has a vested interest in Swoop being shut down to protect his own job. Take his statements with a grain of salt.
I think tbaylx may be on to something. Onex is a scum company, tbaylx has a better track record then they do. I wouldnt be PMLing it to AC faster but Id be cautious. I dont think the core roots of WS are "outdated", Southwest, Frontier, Spirit, Ryanair, Easyjet all seem to be doing fine and never needed to add used, end of life Qantas 767s to their fleets.
Red1 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:59 am
I would take the opposite view. Onex is well funded company and according to BNN has grown most of their companies with a long term vision of making them more profitable.
Theyre well funded because they break up and sell companies. $$$ for them. There is major profit in reorganizing companies that fail, and this is what Onexs' bread and butter is.
cloak wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:01 am
I believe great opportunity beckons at WestJet!

Onex is a solid investment firm with lots of experience and cash to develop all segments of WestJet to its full potential of a world class airline, and develop the partnership with Delta. Onex has been interested in managing a major Canadian airline which was blocked by Air Canada; and now it has an opportunity to demonstrate that vision and know-how in direct competition with it. WestJet will provide for a much better platform to execute that vision for many reasons. It is smaller and has far less labour issues, it is at the beginning of its real international growth, it has solid presence in the leisure market and it knows how to make a profit. And Onex has even more investment experience now. This can be a mutually beneficial highly profitable marriage.

As soon as you said "vision" you lost credibility as you sound like Onex management. Onex is not going to take WS international and add a pile of new planes and give every employee a hand job. Theyre going to make the airline profitable in different ways, not expansion, not turn it in to a world class airline, but reorganization and shrinkage and divesting. Aka cut the fat. This is how Onex functions, and how they have functioned. There is good reason for them to take the company private, so they can do what they want.

That doof double G Gregg is responsible for putting this airline in a position where its attractive to a firm that makes money by fixing broken and struggling companies.

Bottom line is, this company is not one I would trust. All you have to do is look back twenty years ago with the AC/CP merger, and how Onex wanted to come in and do their thing with AMR pulling the strings. I dont want to say its now doom and gloom at WestJet, but when corporate communication starts using words like "efficient" "streamlined" "do more with less" "tighten up" "vision" and "lean" then it may be time to start shoving out resumes.

I bet sell off of Encore with a CPA, sell off of vacations, spin off a MRO company, sell off Swoop or remerge it back in to mainline, sell rewards program, contract out call centres.

Here is a wild thought with no factual basis or probability, Onex buys WS and TS, merges them.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Stratopaused » Mon May 13, 2019 10:05 am

I don't really see the comparison with Air Canada and ACE Holdings. In 2004, AC was in bankruptcy protection, still dealing with the bloat of the merger and the post-9/11 economy, and ACE was set up by AC shareholders to try to salvage anything of value. WestJet today is a profitable, growing company with a cost-structure that is already lower than AC. I don't see how the constituent parts could be worth anywhere near $5 billion, so I think Onex sees growth potential with a big upside if they're willing to lay out that kind of cash; it wouldn't be a particularly good investment to spend $5 billion, and sell off the bits for $4 billion total. On the contrary, Onex has a track record of reorganizing the companies they purchase and putting them back on the market several years later for substantially more than they were originally worth, thereby making their profit on the IPO. Spinning off Swoop and Encore would also dilute the market and create new competitors, whereas keeping them in-house allows WestJet to ensure there's no direct competition on routes that can't sustain more service.

Here's an analysis from user CFM565A1 on airliners.net that I like:
Indigo Partners seemed to do well by NK and now F9. I think ONEX's history shows they will try to do a competition-reducing merger. They can't merge with AC (I hope), so that's off the table. I'm not sure this is good for the DL relationship which already seemed unstable. DL likes to exercise a lot of control over its JV partners. While ONEX is probably quite compatible with Delta in management style, I think ONEX will butt heads with Delta on maneuvers that are better for Delta than WS.

Regarding the list:
>1) Sell of non-performing assets.
Probably just liquidate. The goal is to limit competition, not help competitors gain a larger foothold.
>2) Load up WestJet will billions of debt
They have to do an IPO to make their money. I don't think this would help with the IPO.
>3) Get a positive investment return as soon as possible ($10B minimum)
Sure. I think Transatlantic long-haul is probably also at risk. I get the impression it is not doing that well.
>4) Sell airline back to market, hopefully to lots of sheople.
Yup
>5) Otherwise, declare bankruptcy and let the employees pick up the pieces.
Hard to make money off your $5B investment with that as a strategy
>- sell off profitable assets which will allow them a quick return on their investment
I don't think so. That would create new competitors to hurt performance of what remains.
>- charge big management fees / dividends
If they own them 100% who cares. This would only matter post-IPO and it would likely end with the sale.
I don't think Onex disagrees with WestJet's strategy; rather, I think they want to take WestJet to full maturity and turn it into more of a direct competitor with AC, collect profits for a few years, then hold an IPO once they've stabilized things.
pianokeys wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:35 am
I think tbaylx may be on to something. Onex is a scum company, tbaylx has a better track record then they do. I wouldnt be PMLing it to AC faster but Id be cautious...Theyre well funded because they break up and sell companies. $$$ for them. There is major profit in reorganizing companies that fail, and this is what Onexs' bread and butter is.
I'd like to see some support for this statement, because I can't find any history of them stripping companies down.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Stratopaused » Mon May 13, 2019 10:07 am

Of course, everything is up in the air at this point, and no one's job is safe, but I don't think there's much point in panicking.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by pianokeys » Mon May 13, 2019 10:18 am

Stratopaused wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:05 am
I'd like to see some support for this statement, because I can't find any history of them stripping companies down.
You gave yourself the support you were looking for. I said stripping, you said reorganizing. Same thing, just one of them is a management buzz word. But if you really want to do the research just look at the companies they bought and fixed up, they "reorganized" them as you would say, or as I would say, break up the fat.
Onex has a track record of reorganizing the companies they purchase and putting them back on the market several years later for substantially more than they were originally worth, thereby making their profit on the IPO.
Stratopaused wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:05 am
Spinning off Swoop and Encore would also dilute the market and create new competitors, whereas keeping them in-house allows WestJet to ensure there's no direct competition on routes that can't sustain more service.
Id like to see some support for this statement because every single major sold off their regional arm and set up a capacity purchase agreement.
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Re: WestJet to be sold in friendly deal to Onex Corp. for $5 billion

Post by Diadem » Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 am

Heliian wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:17 am
Pump and dump.

Westjet has been struggling for years now and onex is absorbing 1.5 billion in debt. How they plan on making a profit on this, I don't know. Maybe push swoop and sell all wj assets as said above.

Better than wj folding and leaving everyone in the lurch, for now.
WestJet has only had one quarterly loss since 2005. If that's struggling, then boy would I sure like to struggle!
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Biff » Mon May 13, 2019 10:32 am

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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by atpilot » Mon May 13, 2019 10:43 am

ONEX attempted to buy Canadian Airlines in the past. They have a plan. I hope that it works out well for everyone.
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Re: WestJet to be sold in friendly deal to Onex Corp. for $5 billion

Post by Heliian » Mon May 13, 2019 10:44 am

Diadem wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 am
Heliian wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:17 am
Pump and dump.

Westjet has been struggling for years now and onex is absorbing 1.5 billion in debt. How they plan on making a profit on this, I don't know. Maybe push swoop and sell all wj assets as said above.

Better than wj folding and leaving everyone in the lurch, for now.
WestJet has only had one quarterly loss since 2005. If that's struggling, then boy would I sure like to struggle!
Yes, trouble started as they were rolling out encore, which they then had to scale back, then came swoop and new routes and new aircraft.

Just shows that your quarterly returns are tailored for the investor as they still have 1.5 billion in debt that they don't include in their reports. But ya, fuel prices.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by rudder » Mon May 13, 2019 10:58 am

cloak wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:24 am

Oh I'm very relaxed, thank you! Just amusing that two hours into the announcement some think they have this whole thing figured out!!
Spend a few decades in the industry and a few days, weeks, or months in the room with investment bankers and you stop thinking like a pilot and start thinking like them.

It is all about perspective. This is a financial transaction. Nothing more.

Pilots dream about airplanes. Investors dream about return on investment.
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Re: WestJet to be sold in friendly deal to Onex Corp. for $5 billion

Post by pilotbzh » Mon May 13, 2019 11:15 am

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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Stratopaused » Mon May 13, 2019 11:15 am

pianokeys wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:18 am
You gave yourself the support you were looking for. I said stripping, you said reorganizing. Same thing, just one of them is a management buzz word. But if you really want to do the research just look at the companies they bought and fixed up, they "reorganized" them as you would say, or as I would say, break up the fat.
No, there's a huge difference between changing management and finding new customers, and selling off components of the business. I'd like to know what, if any, companies they've chopped up and sold off.
Id like to see some support for this statement because every single major sold off their regional arm and set up a capacity purchase agreement.
Encore is already in a CPA with WestJet. Sure, the company could spin Encore off for a few million, but to what end? Would there be anything stopping Encore from then buying some RJs and bidding on work for, oh, AC or Transat, or even some creative new venture with Delta? Or maybe they would buy A220s and compete directly on routes they share with WS. They already operate on some common routes, like YYC-YEG and YYC-YLW, where Encore's lower cost structure would give them a huge advantage if they went head-to-head. Controlling Encore and Swoop would be a way more important goal than making a bit of cash off the top by selling them. If anything, I would see Swoop folded back into WestJet and a new fare class created to try to retain the pax, but I don't see how changing the relationship with Encore would improve anything.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by TheStig » Mon May 13, 2019 11:34 am

I agree with Rudder, Westjet is a bargain at $5B. It's share price has been undervalued due to instability and with foreign ownership limits increasing to 49% there is lots of potential to unlock value.

I believe that WJ has more value as a whole than the sum of its parts, do you think there is billions to be found selling off Encore? Gates space at T3? It's barely existent loyalty program? Swoop?

Whether Swoop proves to be a success or failure is irrelevant it can easily be rolled back into the mainline or limited in its size just to fend off upstarts. Failing businesses get sold off for parts, WJ is disorganized, trying to fight above its weight, and still profitable. The game plan doesn't have to change but rather continue it's evolution into a full service provider, re-establish its footing with employee groups, negotiate long term contracts, establish profitability and then ONEX can look to 'divest', go public or milk a cash cow.

Interesting that the leasing company ONEX has partnered with has no leases to AC or WJ (yet) but a few tails at Sunwing (start the rumours!) and has a leased fleet about the same size as WJ with about a 50/50 Boeing/Airbus ratio.

I'm not sure why ONEX is being accused of being some corporate chop shop? It looks to me that since the failed CAIL/AC mergere they've successfully re-organized, and interestingly given WJ's strong brand, renamed, a number of companies that they continue to hold.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by cloak » Mon May 13, 2019 11:39 am

rudder wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:58 am
cloak wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:24 am

Oh I'm very relaxed, thank you! Just amusing that two hours into the announcement some think they have this whole thing figured out!!
Spend a few decades in the industry and a few days, weeks, or months in the room with investment bankers, Gerry Schwartz, Trinity Times Investment, or Cerberus and you stop thinking like a pilot and start thinking like them.

It is all about perspective. This is a financial transaction. Nothing more.

Pilots dream about airplanes. Investors dream about return on investment.
Posturing aside, what exactly is your point? That Onex is going to "divest" WestJet's assets? Break it up into pieces? sell its parts to make profit?

Your assertion makes no sense because if as you say to "investment bankers" it's just a financial transaction and nothing more, and Onex wants to sell WestJet parts for more right away, WestJet could do it itself to get maximum cash, it didn't need Onex.

It follows that in order to gain maximum gain out of their investments, "investment bankers" invest some money, develop the business, and then sell it either privately to interested parties or gradually in an IPO, or both, in order to maximize their return.

It also makes no sense to sell parts of themselves to create more competition and problem for themselves down the road. Just because Air Canada did it, doesn't mean that "investment bankers" do too! WestJet is worth a lot more as a group than individual parts.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Rezy » Mon May 13, 2019 11:40 am

Stratopaused wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 11:15 am
pianokeys wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:18 am
You gave yourself the support you were looking for. I said stripping, you said reorganizing. Same thing, just one of them is a management buzz word. But if you really want to do the research just look at the companies they bought and fixed up, they "reorganized" them as you would say, or as I would say, break up the fat.
No, there's a huge difference between changing management and finding new customers, and selling off components of the business. I'd like to know what, if any, companies they've chopped up and sold off.
Id like to see some support for this statement because every single major sold off their regional arm and set up a capacity purchase agreement.
Encore is already in a CPA with WestJet. Sure, the company could spin Encore off for a few million, but to what end? Would there be anything stopping Encore from then buying some RJs and bidding on work for, oh, AC or Transat, or even some creative new venture with Delta? Or maybe they would buy A220s and compete directly on routes they share with WS. They already operate on some common routes, like YYC-YEG and YYC-YLW, where Encore's lower cost structure would give them a huge advantage if they went head-to-head. Controlling Encore and Swoop would be a way more important goal than making a bit of cash off the top by selling them. If anything, I would see Swoop folded back into WestJet and a new fare class created to try to retain the pax, but I don't see how changing the relationship with Encore would improve anything.

I don’t think you fully understand how a CPA works, every major airline (including WJ) has a CPA with other airlines. None of your predictions happen and are contractually illegal. All of your concerns are moot if Encore did sell off and get a CPA with WJ.
Unfortunately, no one knows Onex’s plans as of yet, but Encore employees certainly have more to worry about than WJ, as its at a higher risk. Onex spent 5 billion on a myriad of entities within WJA stock, the largest being WestJet and it is therefor the least likely to be sold, which makes it the most secure job.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Rezy » Mon May 13, 2019 11:52 am

cloak wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 11:39 am

It also makes no sense to sell parts of themselves to create more competition and problem for themselves down the road. Just because Air Canada did it, doesn't mean that "investment bankers" do too! WestJet is worth a lot more as a group than individual parts.
Certain sell offs don’t create competition, such as a CPA with Encore, or selling WestJet Vacations to a reseller whilst keeping bookings in house. It’s only competition if you continue to own an asset that will actually compete. For example, they could lease out all the wide body aircraft to other airlines, and then only operate narrowbody aircraft. While I think this is ridiculous and extremely unlikely, I’m just using it as an example of the many things Onex could do to sell off parts and not actually compete.
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Re: WestJet to be sold in friendly deal to Onex Corp. for $5 billion

Post by Daniel Cooper » Mon May 13, 2019 12:02 pm

sullecpt wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:12 am
Guess they arent buying Transat?

What happens to Swoop?
I still think they'll buy Transat, and merge them.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by cloak » Mon May 13, 2019 12:07 pm

imo Onex is unlikely to be selling much in the short term. I believe there is great opportunity for growth particularly in certain areas of the business. Their involvement in leasing aircraft will make aircraft acquisition easier for the group. Paying such big premium on the shares shows Onex believes in WestJet group and its value.
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Re: WestJet to be sold in friendly deal to Onex Corp. for $5 billion

Post by Redwine » Mon May 13, 2019 12:09 pm

Spirit Airlines, eh? Edition, here we come....
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Fanblade » Mon May 13, 2019 12:20 pm

Onex has a long history of building value through leveraged acquisitions mergers.Taking pieces and putting them together to create more. Any leveraged buyout comes with risk. The leverage will end up on the companies bottom line.

Often in partnership with someone else who has expertise in a particular sector. This looks way to large of an undertaking for just Onex.

I think another shoe will drop yet. Is Onex (via WJ) the Transat suitor? With the foreign ownership changes is their a oneworld or skyteam member lurking behind this?


I bet we can only see part of this picture so far. I bet AC is watching very closely.
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Re: WestJet to be Acquired by Onex

Post by Rezy » Mon May 13, 2019 12:24 pm

cloak wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 12:07 pm
imo Onex is unlikely to be selling much in the short term. I believe there is great opportunity for growth particularly in certain areas of the business. Their involvement in leasing aircraft will make aircraft acquisition easier for the group. Paying such big premium on the shares shows Onex believes in WestJet group and its value.
I think the big premium shows they believe in the WestJet brand and the value the brand can create. I don’t think they will sell much either, although I do believe there will be a significant shakeup as it doesn’t seem likely they invested 5 billion to stay on the previous course. Whether that’s a rapid wide body expansion or a return to roots, 737 LCC, is yet to be seen.
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Re: WestJet to be sold in friendly deal to Onex Corp. for $5 billion

Post by Mapleflt » Mon May 13, 2019 12:29 pm

Redwine wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 12:09 pm
Spirit Airlines, eh? Edition, here we come....
I've chatted with a couple of Spirit Airline crew members who are very content !!!
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