Air Canada today announced the sale of approximately 35 per cent of its interest in the telecommunications company Equant n.v. for total proceeds and gain on sale before tax of CAD $42.1 million (USD $28.1 million). The sale generated an after tax gain of CAD $29.9 million or $0.16 per share.
Air Canada`s sale of 394,564 shares was part of a secondary offering made by the SITA Foundation, through which member airlines hold an interest in Equant, and a number of investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Air Canada continues to hold approximately 745,200 shares in Equant which based on today`s share price has a market value CAD $79.4 million (USD $53 million). Air Canada has the right to sell its remaining holding in Equant after June 2000.
Previously known as SITA Telecommunications Holdings n.v., Netherlands-based Equant provides seamless international data network services to multinational businesses. Equant also provides managed data network services, network design and integration, equipment installation, maintenance and support services and software development services. The company made an initial public offering in July 1998.