Two Quebec Groups Interested In Transat Acquisition

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

The Journal de Montreal is reporting that two Quebec-based groups are eyeing a Transat acquisition. 

The newspaper’s Investigation Bureau says it has learned that real estate magnate Vincent Chiara and businessman Pierre Karl Péladeau are separately interested in acquiring Air Transat and Transat’s tour and hotel assets.

Vincent Chiara confirmed yesterday that he had submitted an offer after discussions with the Quebec government that is led by Premier Francois Legault, one of Transat’s original founders. 

Chiara owns the Mach Group, which bought the old CBC tower in Montreal with the intention of building a new residential neighbourhood around it.

He apparently looks favourably on Transat's recent business plan, which, in addition to its fleet of some 40 aircraft and its travel agency, is now eyeing the hotel market.

"There is a real estate side of course that interests me a lot," he said, estimating that Transat could "hardly" split its tour operator and carrier activities.

"The real estate part is my strength, and they (Transat), their strength is the airline. The value of this company is the team. They have a team in place, a team of managers ... you have to give them credit for that. "

Pierre Karl Péladeau is the president and CEO of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc. and Sun Media Corporation. He is one of the province’s richest businessmen, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $1.4 billion. He has now acknowledged his interest in the vertically integrated travel company.

"I started a financial analysis and hired financial advisors," he said yesterday.

"Transat is a great brand for Quebecers. Jean-Marc Eustache (the current president) has developed a great company that Quebecers love. I have travelled several times on Transat and I greatly appreciated the service and dedication of the flight crew, "said the businessman.”

"This is a business that should remain in the hands of Quebecers and keep its head office in Quebec," Peladeau said.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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