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Qatar Airways wants to buy 10 percent of American Airlines for $808m

Staff Writer |
American Airlines Group said that Qatar Airways had expressed interest in buying as much as a 10 percent stake worth at least $808 million in the U.S. airline.

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The potential investment comes against the background of diplomatic and competitive turbulence for Qatar Airways, its home country and U.S. airlines.

Operations at Qatar Airways were disrupted after four Arab nations cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar this month in the worst diplomatic crisis in the region in years.

Separately, American, United Continental Holdings, and Delta Air Lines have pressed the U.S. government to take action to curb U.S. flights by Qatar Airways and rival Gulf carrier's Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways.

The U.S. carriers charge that their Gulf rivals have received billions of dollars in unfair state subsidies, allegations the Gulf carriers deny.

American said in a regulatory filing its opposition to the Gulf carriers would not be changed by Qatar Airway's interest.

Qatar Airways indicated its interest in buying a stake in American on the open market, American said in the filing.

Qatar Airways said in a statement that it sees a "strong investment opportunity" in American and that it "intends to build a passive position in the company with no involvement in management, operations or governance."

"Qatar Airways plans to make an initial investment of up to 4.75 percent. Qatar Airways will not exceed 4.75 percent without prior consent of the American Airlines board.

"Qatar Airways will make all necessary regulatory filings at the appropriate time."

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