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Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Stelios justifies his 60-million-pound dividend from easyJet

EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has defended a £60 million dividend he and his siblings received from the airline 10 days before the carrier grounded all aircraft.

The payout was part of a £174 million dividend made to shareholders, which was signed off in February when 'the world looked like a much happier place', he said.

Stelios and his siblings are the largest single shareholders in easyJet, holding a 34% stake.

In a statement, he said the cash was 'automatically' paid to shareholders on March 20 and payments were 'impossible to stop'.

He hit back at calls to return the money, saying people who suggested he did so were 'naïve' and 'malicious', adding easyJet 'is not a charity'. 

His statement said: "I am perplexed as to how that would work? To be used how? To pay that money straight over to Airbus?

"And what is the consideration for such a gift? Or is it meant as a selfless charitable donation? Charity towards which deserving cause exactly? easyJet is not a registered charity to receive donations and neither is Airbus.

"That's not how publicly listed companies work."

He is threatening to seek the removal of board members unless easyJet pulls out of a contract with Airbus to provide 107 aircraft, which he said will cost £4.5 billion.

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  • Easyjet dithering on refunds

    Stelios is talking rubbish, to put it politely. Easyjet is dithering on refunds to customers whose flights have been cancelled. That's where this money could have gone. Even in February trouble was already an obvious risk so sign-off should have been delayed.

    By Chris Fraser, Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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