LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - EasyJet said on Thursday a majority of its shareholders had backed the plan to buy 135 new Airbus planes, defeating a move by the group’s estranged founder to block the deal.
The carrier said investors representing 57 percent of its shares voted in favour of the plan to buy 35 A320 aircraft and 100 new A320neo jets, with options for a further 100, at a meeting in Luton, north of London.
The fleet expansion deal was so large it was subject to a shareholder vote, where it had to be approved by investors representing more than 50 percent of the company’s shares.
EasyJet’s estranged founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou had said he would vote against the fleet expansion plans after arguing the deal would destroy shareholder value and that the money would be better spent on improving returns to investors, through dividends or share buybacks.
Haji-Ioannou, better known as Stelios, founded easyJet in 1995 but quit the board in 2010 after a row over strategy.
“The vote in favour of our new fleet arrangements will allow easyJet to continue its successful strategy of modest, profitable growth and sustainable returns for our shareholders,” the group’s Chairman John Barton said.