AIR CANADA PLAN WOULD STALL MERGER
Air Canada’s management board has approved a plan to stall the
unsolicited bid to buy the airline proposed by Canadian investment firm
Onex Corp. last week.
The shareholder rights plan, triggered if one buyer acquires more than
10 percent of Air Canada common shares in a transaction not approved by the board, would
entitle shareholders other than the acquiring group to buy additional shares. The poison
pill’ makes it prohibitively expensive for any one shareholder to acquire a
controlling stake in Air Canada.
Air Canada’s board said the plan will allow the company to consider all
proposals, including the bid from Onex and American Airlines’ parent
company AMR Corp. The board set a shareholders meeting for Jan. 7.
Air Canada’s Star Alliance partners are reportedly considering a bid for the
carrier. Air Canada employees also may be working on a buyout plan.
Under the Onex bid to merge Air Canada with rival Canadian Airlines, Air
Canada would become a member of the oneworld alliance, anchored by American Airlines and