Investors back board

Stelios defeated in battle with easyJet board

Edinburgh airport Easyjet

The company wants to buy 107 aircraft (pic: Terry Murden)

UPDATED 3.30pm: EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou today lost his battle to unseat four directors and blamed three majors institutional shareholders “controlled by Airbus”.

Stelios has been engaged in a long-running campaign over the budget airline’s ties to the European aircraft manufacturer.

Among those he tried oust from the board were chief executive Johan Lundgren and chairman John Barton, whom he has called ‘scoundrels’ over their decision not to cancel a £4.5 billion order with Airbus for 107 planes that he believes will sink the company.

At today’s meeting, shareholders also rejected a motion to unseat finance director Andrew Findlay and independent non-executive director Andreas Bierwirth.

Mr Lundgren said earlier that three of the company’s bigger investors, with a combined 15% stake and given him their backed and said he had spoken to about 45% of the shareholder base who had all given him their support.

Mr Lundgren said the company line was also endorsed by three shareholder advisory bodies. “This .. underscores the strength of the actions taken to date by the board and management to safeguard the financial and operational stability of the airline,” he said.

Stelios, who with his family owns 34% of the company, says it will not need to replace so many aircraft because of the coronavirus crisis.

Last week he controversially offered to pay up to £5million to anyone who could provide information that would scupper the deal.

Easyjet said yesterday it was planning to restart a number of flights in the UK and France on 15 June.

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