Amer­i­can Air­line stake Qatari’s firm goal

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — Bloomberg News

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.

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