ROB Magazine checks in with Air Canada's former CEO
TORONTO, May 27 /CNW/ - Here we go again. As Air Canada steers towards a
possible second trip into CCAA protection, ROB columnist Derek DeCloet checks
in with Robert Milton, the most powerful -- and the most divisive -- man in
Canadian aviation. Milton, now living in London, England, is no longer leading
the airline's operations, but he is not out of the picture. As Chairman and
CEO of ACE Aviation Holdings, Air Canada's controlling shareholder, he
continues to play a critical role in the airline's future.
Milton is considered by some to be a visionary and by others as the man
responsible for flying Air Canada into the ground. It certainly hasn't been an
easy ride. In 1999, two weeks after Milton became CEO of the airline, Onex
Corp. launched a hostile takeover bid. Then a costly merger with Canadian
Airlines, a weakening economy, 9/11, SARS, debt load and other factors forced
the hard decision to take Air Canada into creditor protection. Milton later
described the move as "the most liberating thing to happen to the airline." In
its wake, ACE was established, airline operating costs were cut, and Milton
spun off Aeroplan and Jazz making billions of dollars for investors and
himself. But critics argue the core airline business was left naked and today
Air Canada is again struggling.
DeCloet profiles the most important man in Canadian aviation as he faces
the next hurdle in the June issue of Report on Business magazine, available
Friday, May 29.
Also in this issue,
Legends of the Fall - Writer Steve Bearton traces the legacy of some of
Canada's most shrewd entrepreneurs who see opportunity in devastation and dare
to go against the grain. In 1977, the Reichmann brothers bought eight New York
City office towers for $320 million (U.S.) and became the second largest
landlords in New York. In the early '90s, Gerry Schwartz of Onex Corp won big
by looking south and adjusting holdings until nearly 80 per cent of revenues
were coming from the United States. And in the most recent downturn, Prem
Watsa of Fairfax Financial bet against almost every other money manager in the
world and won. His hedges against losses at U.S. and European banks and
insurance companies earned his shareholders $2 billion.
Bust begets boom - Commodity prices have been surging lately turned
around by mammoth stimulus packages in the U.S. and China. Much of the
stimulus is ear-marked for infrastructure spending, which in turn creates
demand for commodities like copper, steel and zinc. And this bodes well for
Canada. Recent prices for copper were 44 per cent higher than their December
lows. Zinc was up 24 percent. Oil has recovered. Writer Fabrice Taylor
predicts the next great bull market in commodities will be here.
Ideas and Innovations - Technology is touching every sector, impacting
how and what we use. In the current economy innovation seems to be the only
way industries can rise above the recession. From the cutting edge of
technology to the micromanufacturing revolution in our living rooms, the
Report on Business team examines what the world needs now.
Report on Business magazine is Canada's most-read business publication.
Published on the last Friday of every month in The Globe and Mail, Report on
Business magazine offers readers insightful, award-winning coverage of
Canadian and global business and economics and is available with copies of The
Globe and Mail and online at www.reportonbusiness.com/magazine. The Globe and
Mail is a division of CTVglobemedia, a dynamic multimedia company that also
owns CTV, Canada's leading private broadcaster.
For further information:
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