easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has offered to drop his long-running dispute with the budget airline over the use of the easy brand if it agrees to pay him £3m a year in royalties.
The tycoon, who with his family still controls 38% of the airline, is thought to have made the proposal to the board last month ahead of a High Court battle due to start on 8 June. The payment would equate to 0.1 per cent of the airline’s annual revenue.
easyJet would not confirm any figures, but a statement from the airline said: “We cannot comment on commercial negotiations, but we’ve already said that we are open for commercial settlement if it benefits all our shareholders.”
The court dispute is over an agreement easyJet and Haji-Ioannou made in 2000 when the company floated. Both parties agreed that easyJet keeps 75 per cent of revenues, while easyGroup, which is owned by Haji-Ioannou, would retain 25 per cent of revenues made from additional or non-core services.
But Stelios wants a ruling on the definition of the brand licensing agreement, which would clarify the total income the airline receives from ancillary services.
Further tension was caused by Haji-Ioannou last week when he resigned from the board and threatened to take action with shareholders against the airline’s expansion plans.