In Brief: Government takes equity stake in Air Canada

Plus, Camden adds a VP in Montreal and Open brings on a new creative team following client wins.

Air Canada reaches relief agreement with federal government

Canadian taxpayers are once again part owners of Air Canada after the airline reached a deal with the federal government on a relief package Monday afternoon.

Under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility, the government will provide Air Canada with $5.4 billion in low-interest loans, as well as purchase $500 million in stock at $23.18 a share. If all outstanding warrants are exercised, the government would own just under 10% of Air Canada shares, according to analyst estimates.

Other conditions of the package include restricting expenditures, dividends and share buybacks, and executive salaries will be capped at $1 million. The company will also be required to maintain employment levels no lower than where they were on April 1, complete its purchase of 33 Airbus A220 aircrafts (manufactured in Quebec) and resume flying routes to communities in Northern Canada.

Air Canada’s passenger numbers declined by 73% during 2020, a year in which it laid off more than half of its workforce.

Air Canada was previously a crown corporation until being privatized in 1988, when the government made 43% of its shares publicly traded; the remaining stake was sold off within the next year.

Camden hires VP of client services in Montreal

Fanny Landrieu has been hired by creative agency network Camden as VP of client services. Based in Montreal, Landrieu will lead the office’s client services department in addition to leading pitch teams.

Landrieu began her career as a journalist in Paris before moving to Shanghai and making the jump over to PR. She has since had senior client-facing roles at agencies in Asia focused on digital marketing, media, CRM, creative and content production, working with brands including Dior, Hugo Boss, Pernod Ricard, Audi, Ubisoft and L’Oréal.

In addition to adding international experience, hiring Landrieu into the VP of client services role is also meant to allow Camden’s CFO Marie-Michèle Jacques to focus more fully on her mandate to support growth in Camden’s global offices, which also include outposts in Toronto, Lyon and Hong Kong.

Open brings on new creative team

Toronto-based creative agency Open has hired copywriter Emily Ferraro and art director Eric Carriere.

The pair joins from Grey Canada, which Ferraro joined last year and Carriere has been since 2017. During their time with the agency, they worked on campaigns for Preparation H, Salvation Army and Tums.

Open added to its creative strength in response to new business wins; while Ferraro and Carriere will work across the agency’s clients, they will initially be focused on paddle board company Beau Lake, as well existing clients Twitter and Toronto fashion brand Smythe. The agency has also recently added Clarity Architectural Products to its client roster.