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Stelios Haji-ioannou leader of easyJet again?

16 November 2008 / 09:11:09  GRReporter
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The founder of easyGroup, Stelios Haji-ioannou announced that he has officially bought out his sister’s shares and at present his share at easyJet has grown from 15.5% to 27%. In a letter addressed to the company, he insists on being able to appoint two of the members of the Board of directors and does not leave out the opportunity to return as its chairman, a position he left in 2002. This has confirmed further the rumour that Stelios is not satisfied with easyJet’s management.

For a couple of months now it has been discussed in the business fields that easyGroup’s financial condition is not thriving and the only business that brings in profits is the air one. It’s a known fact that easyGroup activities vary from air and marine transport through hotel business to pizza and male grooming products retail. For the last 8 years easyJet has been a public company, trading its shares but dividends were never paid; instead, profits are invested in new activities.

“I have always been saying that my goal is for this company to begin paying dividends, starting 2011, provided the market allows that”, reminds Stelios Haji-ioannou in the London “Guardian”. The company plans on purchasing 85 new jets in the next 3 years by which the total amount of easyJet airplanes will be increased to 200. Last year the company’s profits accounted for £202 million and this year they are expected to fall down to £115 million, which Haji-ioannou explains with the worldwide financial crisis and shrinking of the markets.

EasyJet’s shares price has dropped half since the beginning of the year, which resulted in £170 million direct loss for its founder. It seems Mr. Stelios Haji-ioannou has all the good reasons to take over the management of the company.

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