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Sir Stelios loses easyJet battle

By Jamie Grierson

Published 24/02/2012

Easyjet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has lost his fight against the airline's board after shareholders overwhelmingly backed its multi-million pound pay plans.

Sir Stelios, who speaks for 37.4% of the company's shares, failed to convince enough investors to join him in voting against the company's remuneration report, as well as the re-election of four directors including chairman Sir Michael Rake. Outside of Sir Stelios's vote, the pay deal, which could see ten executives receive shares worth around £8m over the next three years, won 97% of shareholders' votes, while Sir Michael was re-elected with 99.6% of votes.

Sir Stelios, who founded the airline in 1995, accused easyJet's board of softening performance targets to make share payouts for executive directors more easily attainable.

The group sparked a surge in share price last month when it said total revenues were up 16.7% to £763m in the three months to December 31.

Three of the largest institutional shareholders - Standard Life, Sanderson Asset Management and M-amp;G - came out in favour of the board before the AGM.

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