WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX:WJA) announced today that the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has accepted its notice of intention to make a normal course issuer bid to purchase outstanding variable voting and common voting shares (the Shares) on the open market in accordance with the rules of the TSX.
As approved by the TSX, WestJet is authorized to purchase up to 5,856,671 Shares under the normal course issuer bid, representing 5.0 per cent of WestJet's issued and outstanding Shares, as of July 20, 2017. As of that date, there were 117,133,421 variable voting and common voting shares issued and outstanding. On any trading day, WestJet will not purchase more than 25 per cent of the average daily trading volume of the Shares for the past six months calculated in accordance with the rules of the TSX, being 76,477 Shares, except where such purchases are made in accordance with the block purchase exemptions under the TSX rules.
WestJet is authorized to make purchases during the period of August 3, 2017 to August 2, 2018 or until such earlier time as the bid is completed or terminated at the option of WestJet. Any Shares WestJet purchases under this bid will be purchased through the facilities of the TSX or through alternative trading systems at the prevailing market price at the time of such transaction or such other means as may be permitted by the TSX. Shares acquired under the bid will be cancelled. TD Securities Inc. will be appointed as the broker firm responsible for making purchases of Shares under the bid on behalf of WestJet.
WestJet believes that, from time to time, the market price of its Shares may not reflect their underlying value. At such times, the purchase of Shares for cancellation may be advantageous to shareholders by increasing the value of the remaining Shares. The purchase of Shares may also offset the dilutive effect of the issuance of Shares pursuant to WestJet's compensation plans.
During the period between May 18, 2016 and May 17, 2017, WestJet completed the purchase of 4,000,000 Shares under its previous normal course issuer bid at a volume weighted average price of $22.07 per Share.
From time to time, when WestJet does not possess material non-public information about itself or its securities, it may enter into an automatic securities purchase plan with its broker to allow for the purchase of Shares at times when WestJet ordinarily would not be active in the market due to its own internal trading blackout periods and insider trading rules. Any such plans entered into with WestJet's broker will be adopted in accordance with the requirements of applicable securities laws and subject to prior approval by the TSX.