Qatar Airways has made an unsolicited bid of 10 per cent for American Airlines, the US carrier has said.
In a regulatory filing, American said Qatar intended to buy at least $808 million of its shares. It also showed the bid came about after a conversation between the two CEOs of both airlines.
In a statement, Qatar said it sees a strong investment opportunity in American and it intends to build a “passive position” in the company, with no involvement in management, operations or governance.
The Gulf carrier added it would not acquire more than 4.75 per cent of shares without permission from the American board.
The move follows years of criticism from American Airlines aimed at Middle Eastern carriers including Qatar for unfair competition with state subsidies. Qatar along with Emirates and Etihad has in turn accused the big three US airlines of blocking new competition and limiting consumer choice.
In 2015, Qatar Airways took a 10 per cent stake in International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways and Iberia.
Then in July 2015 it increased its stake to 20%, becoming IAG's biggest shareholder.
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