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Qatar Airways wants to buy a 10% stake in American Airlines

Akin Oyedele
Qatar airways cabin crew

(The cabin of a Qatar Airways plane.AP)
American Airlines on Thursday said it received an unsolicited notice from Qatar Airways of its intention to make a "significant investment."

In a conversation between the CEOs of both companies, Qatar Airways said it wanted to buy about 10% of public shares, American Airlines said in a regulatory filing.

Qatar Airways filed under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, as required for its proposed investment of at least $808 million, American Airlines said. It added that anyone who wanted to buy over 4.75% of the company must gain board approval but that it hadn't received such a request.

"The proposed investment by Qatar Airways was not solicited by American Airlines and would in no way change the company's board composition, governance, management or strategic direction," American Airlines said.

The carrier added that it remained committed to pursuing fair competition with airlines based in Gulf nations. US airlines have raised concerns that the subsidies that Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates receive from their home countries create unfair competition and could squeeze them out of key markets.

Earlier in June, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern neighbors cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. The countries also closed their airspace to Qatar Airways, which could be devastating because Qatar has very little airspace relative to its size.

The airline said in April that it had seen a drop in bookings because of the US and UK governments' ban on large electronics in the cabins of certain international flights.

American Airlines shares gained about 6% in premarket trading.

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(Markets Insider)

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