WestJet (WS, Calgary) is to be sold to Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corp. in a deal valued approximately CAD5 billion Canadian dollars (USD3.73 billion).

The carrier said in a stock market announcement on Monday, May 13, that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Onex that provides for its acquisition in an all-cash transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, Onex and its affiliated funds will acquire all outstanding Westjet shares for CAD31.00 (USD23.11) per share, after which WestJet will be de-listed and run as a privately-held company.

Assuming the timely receipt of all requisite regulatory approvals, Westjet expects the transaction to close during the latter part of 2019 or early 2020.

"I am particularly pleased that WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary and will continue to build on the success that our 14,000 WestJetters have created," Clive Beddoe, WestJet's Founder and Chairman, said in a statement. "Onex's aerospace experience, history of positive employee relations and long-term orientation makes it an ideal partner for WestJetters, and I am excited about our future."

WestJet has a fleet that entails thirteen B737-600s, fifty-three B737-700s, thirteen B737-8s, forty-two B737-800s, four B767-300(ER)s, three B787-9s, and forty-seven Dash 8-400s (operated by WestJet Encore). Its Swoop low-cost subsidiary operates six B737-800s.