American Airline stake Qatari’s firm goal
Qatar Airways ratcheted up a war of words with American Airlines Group Inc. over the Qatari line’s plans to take a stake in the carrier, with Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker saying his U.S. counterpart Doug Parker is “frightened” by the proposed investment.
The Mideast company intends to buy up American Airlines stock if it’s attractively priced regardless of opposition from Parker, who has dismissed the move as ”puzzling at best and concerning at worst,” Al Baker said Thursday in his first public comments since news of the strategy emerged last month.
“We will not impose ourselves on anybody,” he said in Dublin. “However, our filing is very well-advanced, and we hope to start buying shares on the open market soon. We want to be a strategic shareholder. We’re not telling them what to do.”
The value that Qatari investment could bring to American will become apparent once the Mideast operator purchases the 4.75 percent stake it’s able to buy without seeking approval from the Fort Worth-based company’s board, Al Baker told reporters.
There are no plans to go beyond a 10 percent holding and certainly not to the maximum 20 percent available to a foreign carrier, he said.
Neither will there be an attempt to secure a seat on the board.
American Airlines didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.