Tuesday 23 January 2018

EasyJet falls most in a month after founder Stelios resigns

Colm Heatley

EasyJet Plc, Europe’s second-biggest discount airline, fell the most in four weeks in London trading following the resignation of its founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

EasyJet dropped 24.2 pence, or 5.8pc, to 391.5 pence in London as of 1:32 p.m., giving the company a market value of £1.68bn (€1.96bn). That’s the biggest intraday fall since April 19.

Stelios resigned on May 14 in a bid to force the carrier to curb expansion and focus on returning profit to shareholders. He has been at loggerheads with EasyJet management since November 2008, when he refused to sign off on accounts and rebuked the board for buying planes and adding routes amid a slump in demand for travel. Stelios controls about 38pc of EasyJet stock.

“We think that Stelios has chosen his moment to intensify his dispute because the company is in management transition,” Andrew Lobbenberg, an analyst with Royal Bank of Scotland Plc who has a “hold” rating on the stock, wrote in a note today. “We continue to see significant growth opportunities for EasyJet.”


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