GVC Holdings’ boss reassured investors of his long-term commitment to the company after getting £2.5 million worth of shares
GVC Holdings has awarded its boss £2.5 million worth of shares nearly three weeks after he slashed his personal stake in the company and gave the shivers to investors, who interpreted his disposal of shares as a signal that he might be leaving the gambling powerhouse.
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Kenny Alexander, who navigated GVC through the acquisition of bwin.party in 2016 and of Ladbrokes Coral in 2018, said that he was “totally committed to GVC” and promised not to sell any more company stock.
Earlier this month, the top executive offloaded more than a half of his personal holding in the major gambling operator to trouser £13.7 million. He said back then that he was committed to the company for the long term and that “at the very least [he has] a current plan that will take three-plus years to accomplish.”
Shares of GVC hit their lowest in nine years on the heels of news about Mr. Alexander’s decision to cut his personal stake.
The company announced earlier this week that it would award its boss 450,000 shares that were worth £2.5 million at market’s closure. The move was linked to performance targets. Mr.
Alexander’s personal holding stood at 666,666 shares before he was awarded stock by the company. The combined value of his shares amounts to around £9.2 million.
Mr. Alexander reassured GVC and investors that he does not plan to sell any more shares while he is its CEO and that his commitment to the company is a long-term one.
Search for New Chairman in Process
Reports emerged last week that GVC’s Chairman, Lee Feldman, was leaving after more than a decade at the company. The gambling operator confirmed Mr. Feldman’s departure and said that the search for replacement has already begun.
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Mr. Feldman, too, offloaded a massive chunk of his personal stake earlier this month. He sold nearly three-quarters of his holding for £6 million.
Investors saw an indication of the GVC Chair’s possible departure, and they proved right. A spokesperson for the gambling powerhouse said last week that Mr. Feldman leaving the company had been “in the offing for a fair while before the share sale.”
GVC, just as all UK-facing operators, is facing growing regulatory pressure in its domestic market with the recent hike in the remote gambling duty and the pending FOBTs crackdown. The company is now heavily focused on the recently liberalized US sports betting market to offset any losses it is poised to suffer in the UK.
Last summer, the gambling operator formed a joint venture with Las Vegas casino and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International to exploit together the opportunities offered by the anticipated legalization of sports gambling in multiple states.
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