The tour operator Transat, which includes subsidiary Air Transat (TS, Montréal Trudeau), has reiterated its recommendation to shareholders that they support a takeover offer by Air Canada (AC, Montréal Trudeau) after Pierre Karl Péladeau, a Canadian billionaire businessman and former leader of the Parti Québécois, hinted he may also make an offer.

The company said it had not received an offer from Péladeau to acquire it.

On August 19, Péladeau, who said he owned a stake of around 1.6% in Transat, wrote a statement released to other shareholders saying he planned to vote against the Air Canada bid because it was “contrary to the public interest”, the Canadian Press news agency reported.

He said that such a deal would be against “the best interests of [Transat], its employees, Quebec consumers, and the Quebec economy”, as Air Canada would control 60% of the market, a high enough level to hurt competition.

He added that he had “gathered around him strong and established partners of international renown” to submit a possible proposal he said would be fairer, without naming a price.

Transat's shareholders are scheduled to vote on Air Canada's offer of CAD18 dollars per share (USD13.60) - to which the tour operator says there is currently no specific alternative - on August 23. The biggest shareholder, the investment firm Letko, Brosseau and Associates, which holds a 19.3% stake, said it would support Air Canada's offer despite rejecting the flag carrier's earlier bid of CAD13 dollars (USD9.83) per share.