easyJet (LON:EZJ) has pushed forward with plans to protect its flying rights after the UK leaves the European Union, the Financial Times reports. The move followed a shareholder vote at the low-cost carrier’s annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday.
easyJet’s share price tumbled in the previous session, giving up 3.51 percent to close at 1,608.00p, underperforming the broader market selloff which saw the FTSE 100 shed 108.73 points to end the session 1.49 percent lower at 7,170.69. The airline’s shares have added more than 72 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a 0.25-percent dip in the Footsie.
Brexit plans push
The FT reported yesterday that shareholders at easyJet’s AGM had approved changes to its articles of association which will ensure that the airline is EU-owned and controlled after Brexit, meaning that the London-listed carrier will have the power to force UK shareholders to divest their shares if needed.
“Brexit is one of the biggest issues facing the European airline industry,” easyJet’s chairman John Barton commented, as quoted by the newspaper, adding that while the airline had no ‘immediate intention’ of using these powers, they were an “important element in ensuring that easyJet plc has the ability to maintain EU ownership and control at all times should we need to do so”.
easyJet has already made Brexit contingency plans, announcing last year that it would establish a new Vienna-based airline, with the move enabling the company to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within European countries after the UK has left the EU, regardless of the outcome of the talks between Britain and the bloc.
Analysts on easyJet
In ratings news, HSBC remains bullish on easyJet, reaffirming its ‘buy’ rating on the shares yesterday, with a price target of 1,850p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip company currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average valuation of 1,543.27p.