Porter Airlines eyeing IPO in medium term: CEO
By Allison Lampert
MONTREAL (Reuters) - The chief executive officer of Canada's privately held Porter Airlines said on Wednesday he would consider taking the carrier public in the medium term, as a strategy to support the company's broader growth plans.
"I think an IPO is something that probably makes sense in the mid-term," said Porter CEO Robert Deluce, who did not specify an exact number of years.
"Even thought we don't require additional funding now, in the future ... it would be an additional opportunity for us to consider our growth path."
Deluce said Porter has no debt, was profitable last year and is on track to be profitable this year.
Porter, which operates short-haul flights out of Toronto's city airport using a fleet of Bombardier Inc. (BBDb.TO: Quote) Q400 turboprops, considered an IPO six years ago, but held back from taking the company public because of weak market conditions.
"In 2010 we were set to go. The market sort of took a bit of a negative turn," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the Insight Canadian Airline Investment Forum in Toronto. "Ultimately we pulled it. It was probably the best move we could have made."
Deluce said Porter will announce some of its growth plans by year's end and said it is looking at the Montreal, Halifax and Ottawa markets. He said Porter has not asked for its deposits back on 30 CSeries planes that the carrier intended to purchase from Bombardier and operate before Canada's Liberal government last year refused to allow jet airplanes to operate at Toronto's city airport.
"Don't read too much into that though," he said of the deposits. "It's just really a question of making sure that all of the options are open to us in terms of what we might do as far as our next phase of growth and development."
(Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by David Gregorio)
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