EasyJet founder says will not inject fresh equity into company

FILE PHOTO: Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou speaks at a media event to celebrate 20 years in business at Luton Airport, southern England, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File Photo

(Reuters) – Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet Plc (EZJ.L), has warned that he will not inject any fresh equity into the airline it terminates a contract with Airbus SE (AIR.PA) for 4.5 billion pounds ($5.50 billion), according to a letter here posted on EasyGroup’s website.

In his letter, Haji-Ioannou has also called for removal of easyJet’s Chief Finaicial Officer Andrew Findlay, after earlier calling for a board meeting on a vote to remove Andreas Bierwirth as a director, which was rejected by easyJet.

“If this 4.5 billion pound liability to Airbus is preserved – and not cancelled – by the easyJet board then, I regret to report, easyJet will run out of money around August 2020, perhaps even earlier,” the founder said in his letter.

“I will certainly not be throwing good money after bad. For the avoidance of doubt, I will not inject any fresh equity in easyJet whilst the Airbus liability is in place.”

He also stated that he will continue to call for the removal of more directors every time the company delays the vote.

He also wants easyJet to reduce its fleet size to 250 aircraft from 350, adding that the airline will not need any more additional new planes for many years to come.

Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft

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Source: Reuters