Investor group tried to sabotage Emirates deal - Qantas
By: Ruchi Schroff
Qantas Airways accused an investor group that includes the airline's former CEO, of trying to sabotage the recent deal with Emirates, Reuters has reported.
The airline reportedly suspended A$40 million of funding to Tourism Australia, the country's main tourism agency that is headed by former Qantas CEO, Geoff Dixon. Qantas said in an emailed statement to Reuters, that Dixon "was a member of a syndicate committed to unravelling Qantas' structure and direction."
Disagreements have been going on between current CEO, Alan Joyce, and some investors over the deal with Emirates that will help make Qantas more profitable. The investor group has a 1.5% stake in the airline and is trying to change the airline's strategy through shareholder actions. One member has also reportedly called for Joyce's ouster.
Many of the investors in the group were part of a consortium called Airline Partners Australia that made an unsuccessful US$9 billion takeover offer in 2007 for Qantas. Joyce reportedly said he had no intention of supporting any private equity bid for the airline.
He also added that while it was clear that the investor group did not support the Emirates alliance, it was not clear what their strategy was. He said that a majority of the shareholders, customers and employees were happy about the Emirates deal.