AMERICAS: ACE looking at all options for Air Canada

ACE Aviation Holdings is looking at several ways to wring the most value from its Air Canada stake, including sales to private equity players and even a linkup with a US airline, ACE’s chief executive told Reuters. ACE CEO Robert Milton said he still prefers the original plan of distributing the 75 per cent interest […]


ACE Aviation Holdings is looking at several ways to wring the most value from its Air Canada stake, including sales to private equity players and even a linkup with a US airline, ACE’s chief executive told Reuters.

ACE CEO Robert Milton said he still prefers the original plan of distributing the 75 per cent interest in Canada’s dominant carrier to shareholders before winding up the holding company structure, rather than buying back the minority.

But weakness in Air Canada’s stock price has prompted ACE to keep all its options on the table, he said after the shrinking holding company reported a fourth quarter net income of CAD$1.13 billion (US$1.13 billion).

"In my view, as I watch the US airlines scurrying around to merge, anybody that actually ties up with Air Canada gets a unique piece of geography relative to the way the US guys would split it up," Milton said.