United Airlines CEO says funds want to control company: internal memo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The head of United Continental Holdings Inc UAL.N said on Tuesday that two investment funds were trying to wrest control of the company, and urged employees to stay focused on running airline, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz said employees should avoid being distracted by the board changes sought by PAR Capital Management Inc and Altimeter Capital Management LP, which own a combined 7.1 percent in United, the second-largest United States airline by capacity.

The funds said on Tuesday they were disappointed with United’s “poor performance and bad decisions over the last several years.” They nominated a slate of six directors for the board, led by Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines, which merged with United in 2010.

Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn