In a regulatory filing released today (21 August), 888 announced Shay Segev, who was Alexander’s successor at GVC prior to the business’ rebrand to Entain, saw his agreement to provide voting rights to FS Gaming terminated.
Under the initial deal signed between the two, Segev had granted the voting rights attached his 9,063,313 ordinary shares of GBP£0.005 each, or 2.02% of 888’s overall share capital, to FS Gaming.
The investment vehicle retains a 4.55% stake in 888, though its voting block is reduced from 6.57% without Segev’s holding.
FS Gaming’s bid to take charge of 888
The news comes in the wake of FS Gaming’s failed bid to take up key roles at 888. Under the group’s proposal, former GVC chairman Lee Feldman would reprise the same role at the London-listed operator, while Alexander and former GCV director Stephen Morana would take over as CEO and CFO respectively.
The proposal also would increase FS Gaming’s total stake in 888 beyond the 10% threshold that triggers a change of corporate control, requiring approval from the Gambling Commission.
However, the Commission raised concerns related to an ongoing HRMC investigation into GVC’s historic Turkish operations and alleged misconduct by employees and third-party suppliers.
The HRMC probe prompted the Commission to launch a review of 888’s licence. According to the regulator, it did so after FS Gaming failed to sufficiently address its questions on past conduct.
The 888 board unanimously agreed to terminate discussions with FS Gaming, concluding the takeover bid would put the company’s GB licences “at immediate and significant risk”. Per Widerström now serves as 888’s CEO.
Entain puts £585m aside after DPA negotiations
This month, Entain announced it had put £585m aside following its entrance into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The business said its DPA negotiations are at a point where it had the confidence to calculate the settlement amount, which it expects to pay over a four-year period.
However, Entain emphasised the resolution provides legal cover only to the company. This suggests former GVC executives may still face legal liability for the business’ historic activities in Turkey.