Shares of American Airlines stock may have jumped after news that Qatar Airways was interested in buying a 10% stake in the company, but American CEO Doug Parker threw cold water on any shareholder celebration. The announcement of interest from the airline to buy American stock worth about $808 million prompted Parker to write a letter to employees denouncing the bid, reports CNBC. "[W]e aren't particularly excited about Qatar's outreach," Parker writes, "and we find it puzzling given our extremely public stance on the illegal subsidies that Qatar, Emirates and Etihad have all received over the years from their governments," he writes, referring to two other Gulf carriers.
The actual investment hasn't happened yet: Anyone trying to buy 4.75% or more of American's stock must submit a written request to the board, and that hasn't happened yet, reports Business Insider. Qatar Airways' motives were unclear, telling American only that its investment would be "passive." Quartz notes that the airline is small in comparison to US airlines and has been purchasing stakes in foreign airlines recently to beef up. In his letter Parker, attempts to allay any fear that the potential new investor could influence the airline. "Do not worry," he writes, citing a law that prohibits any foreign entity from owning 25% of a US airline. "There is no possibility that Qatar will be able to purchase enough of American to control or influence our Board, management or our strategy."