UPDATE 2-Canada's Transat looks to sell France, Greece operations

Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:20pm EST
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* Sale of businesses could fetch $40 mln-$60 mln - analyst

* Shares down 2.3 pct (Adds background and comments from analyst, company spokesman; updates shares)

Jan 12 (Reuters) - Canadian tour operator Transat AT Inc said on Tuesday it was looking for buyers for its operations in France and Greece to focus on the Americas.

The Montreal-based company, which operates European tours, said it had not yet entered into any negotiations.

Transat said a sale would not affect the operations of its transatlantic programs from Canada or of its budget airline, Air Transat.

The potential transaction is aligned with Transat's 2015-2017 strategic plan, which emphasizes profitable growth in the Americas, the company said.

The company plans to grow via acquisitions in travel services distribution and hotels in the region, Transat spokesman Michel Lemay said in an e-mail.

Revenue at its European units fell 9.2 percent for the year ended Oct. 31 as bookings to North Africa and other Mediterranean destinations fell and the weaker euro made travel to the United States more expensive. (bit.ly/1nfxOJy)

Transat's European operations were hurt by the political turmoil in Greece and the recent militant attacks in Paris but Lemay said Tuesday's announcement had nothing to do with these events.   Continued...