Montreal, April 8, 2004
Transat A.T. Inc., one of the 10 leading holiday travel companies in the world and the leader in Canada, has completed the acquisition of the remaining 50% participation in Jonview Corporation in partnership with the Solidarity Fund QFL, a minority shareholder.
“Jonview is the largest incoming tour operator in Canada with revenues of approximately $77 million in fiscal 2003. It has had a solid performance since our initial acquisition in 2001 despite the many difficulties faced by the tourism industry,” stated Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat A.T. Inc.
“We are confident that Jonview will benefit from the continued growth of the tourism industry under the direction of its President and CEO Donald Obonsawin and we expect to reap organizational synergies with DMC Transat, our other incoming tour operator, as well as commercial synergies with Air Transat, combining air and terrestrial product offerings to customers. This acquisition is a perfect fit to our vertical integration strategy; it plays a critical role in reaching critical mass,” added Mr. Eustache.
The total cost of the remaining 50% interest in Jonview is $12.7 million, $9.1 million of which represents Transat's portion and $3.6 million of which represents the minority shareholder's portion. Pursuant to the acquisition agreement, Transat will pay $6.9 million cash at closing with the balance to be paid in cash in three installments until September 2006. Transat’s percentage ownership in Jonview will be approximately 80% as a result of this transaction.
Jonview designs a full range of Canadian vacation products that it sells abroad, mainly to tour operators in Europe, particularly in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium. It also caters to travellers in South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia (mainly Japan). Jonview has sales and representation offices in France and the United Kingdom and it operates from offices in Montreal and Toronto.
Transat A.T. Inc. with its head office in Montreal is an integrated company specializing in the organization, marketing, and distribution of holiday travel. The core of its business consists of tour operators in Canada and France. Transat is also involved in air transportation, value-added services at travel destinations, as well as in distribution through travel agency networks. Transat is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:TRZ). T
he Solidarity Fund QFL is an investment fund that draws on the savings of Quebecois, primarily through its RRSPs, to help create and maintain jobs in Quebec-based companies and to further Quebec’s economic growth. With over 555 000 shareholders, the Fund has assets in excess of $ 4.9 billion and to date has helped, on its own or with other financial partners in Quebec, to create, maintain or support over 91,000 jobs. (www.fondsftq.com)
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the Corporation. These forward-looking statements, by their nature, necessarily involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements. The Corporation considers the assumptions on which these forward-looking statements are based to be reasonable, but cautions the reader that these assumptions regarding future events, many of which are beyond its control, may ultimately prove to be incorrect since they are subject to risks and uncertainties that affect the Corporation.
For additional information with respect to these and other factors, see the Annual Information Form and Annual Report (Management Discussion and Analysis) filed with Canadian securities commissions. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.