Transat signs an agreement to sell its interest in Ocean Hotels

The integrated tour operator will develop its own hotel chain in the South

MONTREAL, July 19, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat A.T. Inc. has signed an agreement with H10 Hotels for the sale of its minority 35% interest in Ocean Hotels for an amount of US$150.5 million (Cdn$190 million). Transat remains fully committed to becoming a full-fledged hotel operator and is selling its minority interest in Ocean Hotels in order to accelerate the development of its own hotel chain in the South.

This interest sold had a book value of Cdn$109.1 million as at April 30, 2017. The agreement, signed today with H10, which already owns the other 65% of the co-venture created in 2007, is binding and subject to certain usual conditions. The sale price is subject to adjustments at the time of the closing of the transaction by November 2, 2017, and after if necessary.

"Owning a minority position in Ocean has been a valuable venture for Transat both economically and strategically, allowing us to develop an expertise and insight into the hotel business. Being a minority owner was no longer an interesting use of our capital as we embark on further investments in the sector," said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer, Transat. "We want to control our own destiny, and this transaction is the ideal springboard for building a hotel chain that reflects our style. Our hotel division will take shape in the near future, including with the hiring of a president to lead it. We are very excited at the idea of moving forward with this priority initiative for the company."

The sale of its minority interest in Ocean Hotels, as well as the proceeds from the sale of its tour operating activities in France and Greece last October, will support Transat's creation of its own hotel development project. In recent years, Transat has refocused its operations around three strategic areas: air transportation, hotel operation and travel distribution. Last week, the company announced the replacement of its nine Airbus A310s with 10 new Airbus A321neo LRs, starting in 2019. This is a major investment that will take its fleet to a higher level. The future investments in its hotel business will enable it to provide its customers with a travel experience that is perfectly tailored to their needs.

About Transat

Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and active in air transportation, accommodation, travel packaging and distribution. It operates mainly in Canada, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, with some 25 destination countries, and distributes products in over 50 countries. Based in Montreal, the company has 5,000 employees. Transat is firmly committed to sustainable tourism development, as reflected in its multiple corporate responsibility initiatives over the past 10 years, and was awarded Travelife Partner status in 2016. The vacation travel companion par excellence, Transat celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017 (TSX: TRZ).

Recent distinctions and awards

Named world's second-best leisure airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards (2013–2017) and best in North America in the same category (2012-2017)

Placed second among airlines on Forbes magazine's 2017 ranking of Canada's Best Employers

Named one of the Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by the research firm Corporate Knights (2014–2017; 16th in 2017)

Named the number one carrier in North America for energy efficiency by Atmosfair (2011–2016)

Ranked among the Top 10 call centres in North America by BenchmarkPortal (2012 and 2015)

Voted Best Leisure/Charter Airline (2008–2017) and Best Tour Operator (2014–2017), at the Agent's Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media

Voted Best Airline (2013–2015) and Best Tour Operator (2013, 2015 and 2016), at the Trophées Uni-Vers awards organized by the Association des Agents de Voyages du Québec

Forward-looking statements

No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein. This press release includes "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release, including statements regarding the prospects of the industry and prospects, plans, financial position and business strategy of the Corporation, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Canadian securities legislation and regulations. Investors and others are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements. For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions, please also refer to the Corporation's public filings available at www.sedar.com and www.transat.com. In particular, further details and descriptions of these and other factors are disclosed in the Annual MD&A under the "Risks and uncertainties" section and in the "Risk factors" section of the Corporation's current Annual Information Form. The forward-looking statements in this news release reflect the Corporation's expectations as at January 12, 2015, and are subject to change after this date. The Corporation expressly disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by the applicable securities laws.

 

SOURCE Transat A.T. Inc.

For further information: Media: Transat A.T. Inc., Odette Trottier, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs, odette.trottier@transat.com, 514 908-8891; Financial analysts: Denis Pétrin, Chief Financial Officer, 514 987-1660

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