Qatar Airways is to press on with plans to build a stake of up to 4.75% in American Airlines in the near future, despite the “categorical” opposition of the US company’s management, Reuters reported.
The move by Qatar Airways would expand its investments to North America at a time when Qatar is embroiled in the region’s worst diplomatic crisis in years and is locked in an airspace rights row with three other Gulf states.
The state-owned carrier had notified American Airlines last month that it was interested in buying up to 10% of its shares but would not exceed 4.75% without the approval of American’s board, stated Reuters, citing its top official.
“We will be able to start buying shares in the open market soon, depending of course on what is the share value,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (photo) told reporters in Dublin, where he was launching a new Qatar Airways route.
However, American said in a regulatory filing dated June 22 that company rules prohibit anyone “from acquiring 4.75% or more” of the company’s shares in issue without prior board approval.
Shares in American were up 1.88% at $53.03 on Friday, valuing the company at over $25 billion, it added.