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ACE Aviation to distribute up to $300 million to shareholders

March 13, 2012, Montreal - The company set up to own Air Canada and several related businesses after the airline restructured under bankruptcy protection says it plans to distribute up to $300 million to its shareholders in the coming months.


March 13, 2012
By The Canadian Press

ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. (TSX:ACE.B), which was formed in 2004 to be the airline's parent company after Air Canada sought court protection in April 2003, is in the process of being wound up.

ACE has sold most of its assets — including the companies now known as Chorus Aviation (TSX:CHR.B), which operates the Jazz air service and Aveos, which overhauls aircraft — and distributed the bulk of the money to shareholders.

Ace said Tuesday that it plans an initial distribution of $250 million to $300 million in the weeks following the April 25 shareholder vote, according to a proxy circular sent to investors.

A final distribution is expected after mid-2013.

ACE's main assets are $351 million or cash and equivalents, 31 million Class B voting shares in Air Canada  and warrants to purchase Air Canada shares.

Shareholders will also vote on proposals to convert ACE class A shares, which are reserved for non-Canadian residents, and class B shares into one voting class.

Since ACE no longer holds a significant interest in any holder of a license under the Canada Transportation Act, the company said the dual class structure is no longer necessary to meet Canadian rules for foreign ownership of airlines.

Support from two-thirds of shareholders is also required for a voluntary liquidation of the holding company.