June 30, 2020 / 12:11 PM / 11 days ago

EasyJet says Haji-Ioannou family holding drops below 30%

FILE PHOTO: Staff close the doors of a plane ready for departure, as EasyJet restarts its operations amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Gatwick Airport, in Gatwick, Britain June 15, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British low-cost airline easyJet (EZJ.L) said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that the Haji-Ioannou family now hold under 30% of the company.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou founded easyJet, and along with family members remains its biggest shareholder, but he has been critical of its strategy. Earlier this year he sought to oust its CEO, chairman and others as he objected to their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week easyJet raised about 419 million pounds ($514 million) through a share placing to help bolster its finances.

“As a result of the non-pre-emptive placing announced on 24 June 2020, the Haji-Ioannou concert party no longer holds 30% or more of the issued share capital of the company,” easyJet said in a statement.

As such, easyJet said an agreement between it and easyGroup, Haji-Ioannou’s vehicle, drawn up under controlling shareholder rules, had been terminated.

A separate filing showed that the Haji-Ioannou family now owns 29.99% of easyJet down from the about 33% it used to own. That holding could fall further should the conditional element of the placing be approved by investors on 14 July.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton

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