CALGARY, Feb. 2, 2016 /CNW/ - WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX:WJA) announced today that the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") has approved an amendment to its normal course issuer bid (the "NCIB"). The purpose of the amendment is to increase the maximum number of common voting shares and variable voting shares (collectively "Shares") that may be purchased under the NCIB from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000. This represents approximately 4.75 per cent of the issued and outstanding Shares as of the date of the original notice. The increased purchase limit under the NCIB will be effective February 4, 2016.
The NCIB will continue until May 12, 2016, or until such earlier time as the bid is completed or terminated at the option of WestJet. Any Shares WestJet purchases under the bid will be purchased on the open market through the facilities of the TSX at the prevailing market price at the time of such transaction. On any trading day, WestJet will not purchase more than 25 per cent of the average daily trading volume of the Shares for the six months preceding the commencement of the NCIB, being 117,903 Shares, except where such purchases are made in accordance with the block purchase exemptions under the TSX rules. TD Securities Inc. is the broker firm responsible for making purchases of Shares under the bid on behalf of WestJet. Shares acquired under the bid will be cancelled. To date, WestJet has already purchased 3,200,000 Shares for cancellation since the commencement of the bid on May 13, 2015.
WestJet believes that, from time to time, the market price of its Shares may not reflect their underlying value. At such times, the purchase of Shares for cancellation may be advantageous to shareholders by increasing the value of the remaining Shares. The purchase of Shares may also offset the dilutive effect of the issuance of Shares pursuant to WestJet's compensation plans.
At times when WestJet does not possess material non-public information about itself or its securities, it may enter into an automatic securities purchase plan with its broker to allow for the purchase of Shares at times when WestJet ordinarily would not be active in the market due to its own internal trading blackout periods and insider trading rules. Any such plans entered into with WestJet's broker will be adopted in accordance with the requirements of applicable Canadian securities laws and subject to prior approval by the TSX.
Caution regarding forward-looking statements
This news release contains certain statements that may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. This information includes, but is not limited to WestJet's intentions with respect to the normal course issuer bid and purchases thereunder and the effects of repurchases under the bid. This information is based upon certain material factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making a projection as reflected in the forward-looking information. By its nature, this information is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that may be general or specific. A variety of material factors – many of which are beyond WestJet's control – affect the operations, performance and results of WestJet and its business and could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in any of this forward-looking information. Purchases made under the normal course issuer bid are not guaranteed and may be suspended at the discretion of WestJet's Board of Directors.
The forward-looking information in this news release is current to the date hereof, and is subject to change following such date. While WestJet may elect to do so, unless required by applicable law, it undertakes no obligation to update this information to reflect new information or circumstances at any particular time. Additional information about the risks and uncertainties about WestJet's business is provided in its disclosure materials, including its annual information form, filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada, available at www.sedar.com.
We are proud to be Canada's highest-rated airline for customer service, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers. We offer scheduled service to 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 150 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods ̶ even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.
Recent recognition includes:
2015/2011/2008-2005 Canada's 10 Most-Admired Corporate Cultures (Waterstone Human Capital)2015/2014/2013/2012 Canada's Most Attractive Employer (Randstad)
2015/2014/2013/2012 Top three brands in Canada (Canadian Business magazine)
2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)
2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in the Canada's Choice ranking (RewardsCanada.ca)
2014 Interbrand Canada's Best Canadian Brands (rank #20)
2014 Brands of the Year (Strategy magazine)
2014 Canada's Most Preferred Airline (Ipsos)
2014 Value Airline of the Year (Air Transport World magazine)
2014/2013/2012/2011 Highest equity score: airline, vacation package supplier brands (Harris/Decima EquiTrend Study)
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