Home Money Activist investor and critic of former Entain boss increases stake in Ladbrokes owner

Activist investor and critic of former Entain boss increases stake in Ladbrokes owner

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Ricky Sandler, founder and CEO of Eminence Capital
  • Rick Sandler joined the board in January after criticism of former Entain boss
  • Sandler’s Eminence Capital is now Entain’s third largest shareholder

Ricky Sandler, founder and CEO of Eminence Capital

Activist investor Eminence Capital has increased its stake in Ladbrokes owner Entain to 5.8 per cent, making it the third largest shareholder in the gambling company.

This follows Entain’s decision earlier this year to cede board seats to Eminence, which began the month with a stake of around 4.7 percent.

Eminence boss Ricky Sandler was named a non-executive director of Entain in January after the Wall Street investor criticized his former boss Jette Nygaard-Andersen, who later left the group amid the resolution of a long-running scandal. of bribes.

Nygaard-Andersen is yet to be replaced full-time, while the betting firm’s chairman Barry Gibson also announced his departure in April.

Gibson has fought off two takeover attempts since joining in February 2020, and the announcement of his departure sparked speculation that private equity suitors could be circling the company.

City analysts have recently identified Entain along with a list of blue-chip stocks vulnerable to a takeover approach.

Entain is also seeing some pressure on its results due to “regulatory implementation” challenges after the UK government introduced a statutory tax and stake limits on certain types of betting. It also faces increasing compliance requirements in other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, the company is betting its luck on its growth trajectory in the United States, where it faces increasing levels of competition.

hold shares They are down more than 27 percent so far this year and more than 45 percent over the last year.

According to the most recent data available on Entain’s website, Eminence is now the group’s third largest institutional shareholder. It trails Capital Group and Dodge & Cox, which held 15.2 percent and 10 percent of the shares, respectively, at the end of March.

Betting against these investors are Marshall Wace and Perback Capital Partners, which together hold short positions equivalent to 1.5 percent of Entain’s shares, according to regulatory data.

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