Harvey says he's a passive Qantas investor
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Gerry Harvey says he's just a passive investor in Qantas, despite reports he and wife Katie Paige are part of a group pushing for strategic change at the airline.
It has been reported that Mr Harvey and Ms Paige have joined a group of wealthy investors which include former Qantas chief Geoff Dixon, former chief financial officer Peter Gregg, venture capitalist Mark Carnegie and adman John Singleton, in buying a less than two per cent stake in the airline.
The group is believed to have bought into Qantas at about $1.15 a share in early June before Qantas shares fell to an all time low of 97 cents.
It was also well before the Emirates tie up was announced in September.
It is understood that the group made the purchase because it believe Qantas shares are undervalued and the strategy of chief executive Alan Joyce and the board is questionable.
Mr Harvey said it was no secret that he had Qantas shares and had held them for some time.
"I have got shares and always have had in about 50 public companies," he told reporters after Harvey Norman's annual general meeting in Sydney on Tuesday.
"Over the years I've had shares in Qantas which I buy and sell and at the moment I have shares in Qantas too."
But he said he had no influence over the Qantas board and did not intend to offer them any advice.
"I'm a mostly, always pretty much, a passive shareholder," he said.
"I never have any say in how the Qantas board runs its company. I give them no advice and I don't expect to give them any advice."
Mr Harvey said the reason he bought into Qantas was because he believed he could make some money out if the airline.
"The Qantas share price at the moment is about half its asset backing," he said.
"I think that's a good buy. It could double in price."
He said he was not providing any assessment, good or bad, of Mr Joyce and the Qantas board.
"I'm not praising Alan Joyce and I'm not criticising Alan Joyce," he said.
"They may need to look out for a lot of other people but they don't need to look out for me."