Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has alleged that ‘voting fraud’ occurred during the shareholder meeting on Friday which saw Stelios fail in his attempt to oust four directors of the company.
Stelios has even offered a £5m reward to any whistleblower who gives information leading to the cancellation of the order which he claims the airline cannot afford.
In a statement after the boardroom defeat, Stelios said “The results constitute voting fraud as at least 15% of the shares held by the three “strawmen” (Invesco, 91 and Phoenix) are controlled by Airbus and were therefore “related parties” in this vote.
“If the c 60 million shares in easyJet that are controlled by Airbus that we know about, and there could be more, are excluded, my resolutions to remove the directors would have been approved by a margin of 133 million shares to remove and 120 million shares to retain. We will never stop in our quest to out these ‘strawmen’ and prove that these shares should not have been counted under the (London Stock Exchange) Listing Rules for related party transactions for listed companies.”
Stelios claims that his reward offering has already yielded significant results. The statement continued: “I can now can reveal a secret dinner that Carolyn McCall, Andrew Findlay and Warrick Brady (all easyJet executives at the time) had with Marc Bonnant at Hotel Schweizerhof, Lucerne on the 17th November What did they discuss at that dinner? Why does John Barton continue to refuse to set up an independent enquiry?
“He did say at the general meeting that he will address my concerns. Do so Mr Barton! If the Airbus contract was found to have been made using illegal bribes, it can be cancelled and Airbus sued for compensation which will increase the value of our easyJet shares.”
Earlier this year Airbus agreed to pay a €3.6bn (£3.2bn) fine to authorities in the UK, France and the US in order to settle claims that it engaged in wholesale bribery to win contracts.
He has also threatened to sue the directors of the airline if it collapses within the next 12 months as they stated in the meeting that they believe the airline can meet all debts that will due in the next 12 month period, including aircraft deliveries.