MONTREAL, March 17, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today that it has completed the maximum allotment under its normal course issuer bid approved last year ("NCIB"), by purchasing and cancelling a total of 10 million Class A variable voting shares and Class B voting shares (collectively the "Shares") at a volume-weighted average Share price of $9.73 for an aggregate consideration of $97,294,018. Since February 20, 2016, the day Air Canada's quarterly internal black out period ended after the release of its 2015 full year and fourth quarter results, it has purchased, for cancellation, 4,416,065 Shares at a volume-weighted average Share price of $7.78 for an aggregate consideration of $34,354,238. Air Canada announced the implementation of its normal course issuer bid on May 26, 2015 to purchase, for cancellation, up to 10 million Shares representing approximately 3.5 per cent of the 286,846,898 Shares outstanding as at May 14, 2015.
Air Canada also announced today that its Board of Directors has approved up to an additional 5 million Shares to be purchased for cancellation before the expiry of the existing NCIB on May 28, 2016 (representing, along with the first 10 million Shares, approximately 6.2 per cent of the public float as at May 14, 2015). No other terms of the NCIB have been amended. Air Canada also received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") to amend its NCIB for this purpose.
"We are positive about Air Canada's future in light of the transformation undertaken to achieve long-term, sustainable profitability, as evidenced by our record 2015 results. We have purchased our maximum allotment of shares through the NCIB as we believe it represented excellent value for our shareholders. With our current program completed early, Air Canada's Board has authorized up to another 5 million shares to be purchased before the existing NCIB expires on May 28, 2016 and beyond that will consider renewing the share repurchase program on a more significant basis than last year, subject to other market and capital allocation considerations," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Air Canada believes that, from time to time, the market price of its Shares may not fully reflect the underlying value of its business and future prospects. In such circumstances, Air Canada may purchase for cancellation outstanding Shares, thereby benefitting all shareholders by increasing the underlying value of the remaining Shares.
The NCIB, which will end no later than May 28, 2016, is conducted through the facilities of the TSX or alternative trading systems, if eligible, and conforms to their regulations. Purchases under the NCIB are made by means of open market transactions or such other means as the TSX or a securities regulatory authority may permit, including pre-arranged crosses, exempt offers and private agreements under an issuer bid exemption order issued by a securities regulatory authority.
Under TSX rules, Air Canada is allowed to purchase daily, through the facilities of the TSX, a maximum of 485,735 Shares representing 25 per cent of the average daily trading volume, as calculated per the TSX rules. In addition, Air Canada may make, once per week, a block purchase of Shares not directly or indirectly owned by insiders of Air Canada, in accordance with TSX rules. All Shares purchased pursuant to the NCIB are cancelled.
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2015 served more than 41 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 63 airports in Canada, 56 in the United States and 86 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,330 airports in 192 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. For more information, please visit: www.aircanada.com, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments relating to preliminary results, guidance, strategies, expectations, planned operations or future actions. Forward-looking statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "preliminary", "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan", "predict", "project", "will", "would", and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions.
Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions, including those described herein and are subject to important risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements cannot be relied upon due to, amongst other things, changing external events and general uncertainties of the business. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including without limitation, our ability to successfully achieve or sustain positive net profitability or to realize our initiatives and objectives, our ability to pay our indebtedness, reduce operating costs and secure financing, currency exchange, industry, market, credit, economic and geopolitical conditions, energy prices, competition, our ability to successfully implement strategic initiatives and our dependence on technology, war, terrorist acts, epidemic diseases, casualty losses, employee and labour relations, pension issues, environmental factors (including weather systems and other natural phenomena and factors arising from man-made sources), limitations due to restrictive covenants, insurance issues and costs, changes in demand due to the seasonal nature of the business, dependence on suppliers and third parties, including regional carriers, Aeroplan and the Star Alliance, changes in laws, regulatory developments or proceedings, pending and future litigation and actions by third parties and the ability to attract and retain required personnel, as well as the factors identified throughout this news release and those identified in section 17 "Risk Factors" of Air Canada's 2015 MD&A dated February 17, 2016. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent Air Canada's expectations as of the date of this news release (or as of the date they are otherwise stated to be made), and are subject to change after such date. However, Air Canada disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities regulations.
SOURCE Air Canada
For further information: Contacts: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), [email protected], 514 422-5788; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), [email protected], 416 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver), [email protected], 604 270-5741; Internet: aircanada.com