Business World

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Stelios spat with EasyJet intensifies ahead of AGM

Steve Rothwell

EASYJET's public spat with founder Stelios Haji Ioannou intensified after chairman Michael Rake rejected claims that too much is being spent on planes and the investor labelled the carrier's cost calculations "phoney".

Stelios, who goes by his first name, overstated the value of an order for Airbus SAS A320-series jets and made assertions about the size of bonus payments for executives that were also incorrect, Rake said at a capital markets day in London held in advance of EasyJet's AGM on February 17.

"It is repeatedly said that these aircraft committed the company to $1.5bn of expenditure," Rake said, according to a copy of his speech supplied by EasyJet. "The actual amount involved is substantially less than a half of this figure."

Stelios, who controls about 38pc of outstanding stock at Luton, England-based EasyJet, has been in dispute with the management of Europe's second-biggest discount airline for more than three years after calling for slower growth in November 2008 and refusing to sign off on annual accounts. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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