MENLO PARK, Calif. and BOSTON, April 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Altimeter Capital Management, LP and PAR Capital Management, Inc. today announced a proxy-contest settlement agreement with United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) (United). Under the settlement terms, two Altimeter and PAR designees will immediately join the United Board – Edward L. Shapiro, Managing Partner and portfolio manager at PAR, and Barney Harford, former Chief Executive Officer at Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. United will also add a mutually-agreed upon third independent director to the Board within six months.
"As long-term United investors, we are pleased with the reconstituted Board," said Brad Gerstner, Founder and CEO at Altimeter Capital. "In the last three months, United has added five new highly-qualified independent directors with a sixth on the way, and United has announced that one of these new independent directors will become non-executive chairman at the upcoming annual meeting. We are confident that the new Board will provide the guidance and oversight necessary to help United make its way back to the top."
Paul Reeder, Founder and CEO of PAR Capital, said, "United has great potential, and we're confident that these meaningful Board-level changes will help the Company reach that potential. We are eager to see the new Board turn its attention to creating stockholder value, improving labor relations, and enhancing customer satisfaction."
In a joint statement about the stockholder nominees, Gerstner and Reeder said, "All stockholders owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Altimeter's stockholder nominees – Gordon Bethune, Barney Harford, Rodney O'Neal, Tina Sharkey, and Brenda Yester Baty. From the beginning, they've inspired and impressed us – both professionally and personally. They added essential value to our campaign, and we couldn't have achieved this all-around success without their credibility and their active participation, commitment, and professionalism."
"This is another sign that things are changing for the better at United under Oscar's leadership," said Gordon Bethune, former Continental Airlines Chief Executive Officer. "United now has one of the best Boards in the airline business, and stockholders, customers, and front-line employees will see the benefits. While I won't be serving on the Board, I look forward to doing whatever I can do to help Oscar, United's dedicated employees, and the Company succeed."
About Altimeter Capital
Altimeter is a global investment firm managing both public and private funds focused on the airline, travel, technology, internet, software, and consumer sectors. Altimeter was founded in 2008 by Brad Gerstner and has offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Menlo Park, California.
About PAR Capital Management
PAR Capital Management manages a private investment fund. The firm was founded in 1990 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. PAR's philosophy is based on the belief that long term investment success can be achieved through narrowly focused and rigorous fundamental research, disciplined portfolio management and the alignment of incentives between manager and client.
About Edward Shapiro
Edward Shapiro, 51, is currently Managing Partner and portfolio manager at PAR Capital Management, Inc., a Boston-based investment management firm specializing in investments in travel, media and Internet-related companies. Before joining PAR Capital in 1997, Mr. Shapiro was a Vice President at Wellington Management Company, and before that an Analyst at Morgan Stanley & Co. Mr. Shapiro also serves as Chairman of the Boards of Global Eagle Entertainment and Lumexis Corporation, and a director of Sonifi Solutions. He previously served on the board of US Airways and Web.com, formerly Interland, Inc. Mr. Shapiro earned his Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Management.
About Barney Harford
Barney Harford, 44, served as Chief Executive Officer of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. from 2009 to 2015, leading a successful turn-around that culminated in a sale to Expedia, Inc. in 2015. Previously, Harford served in multiple roles at Expedia from 1999 to 2006, including as President of Expedia Asia Pacific from 2004 to 2006, leading the company's entry into China, Japan and Australia. Harford serves as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Lola, a chat-based travel planning service that offers customers personalized recommendations for hotels, flights and more. He also serves on the Board of LiquidPlanner, a dynamic project management solution for technology teams. Harford previously served on the Boards of eLong, GlobalEnglish, Crystal Orange Hotel Group (formerly Mandarin Hotel Holdings) and Orbitz Worldwide. Harford holds an MBA degree from INSEAD and a Master of Arts degree in Natural Sciences from Clare College, Cambridge University.
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SOURCE Altimeter Capital Management, LP and PAR Capital Management, Inc.