Shareholders of WestJet have approved the sale of the Canadian airline to a private equity firm.

Onex will acquire the carrier for CAD$3.5 billion after more than 92.5 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the buy-out. Following the completion of the $31-per-share sale, WestJet will operate as a privately-held company.

The terms of the deal were agreed back in May and Canada’s transport minister gave the go-ahead in June. The transaction is expected to close later this year or early 2020, subject to regulatory approval.

WestJet had reported a drop in net profit for the last three years and was particularly hit by rising fuel costs and pressure on ticket prices, among other problems.

Commenting on the green-lit sale, CEO Ed Sims said: “We are very pleased to obtain overwhelming support from our securityholders at today’s special meeting. Receiving this support is an important step on our path to closing the transaction, and we continue to engage with the necessary authorities on the remaining approvals.”

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