GVC has found itself the subject of a shareholder rebellion over executive pay just a week after it bid a potential £3.9bn (€3.5bn/$4.1bn) for Ladbrokes Coral.
According to the Daily Telegraph, 27.5% of investors voted against a new directors’ remuneration policy. Some 26.4% objected to a new annual and deferred bonus plan.
The dissent comes despite GVC’s management team driving a 45% increase in the company’s share price since the start of the year.
The bid for Ladbrokes Coral has been lauded by many shareholders and industry experts because the purchase price is dependent on the government’s decision on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). GVC would pay considerably less should maxium stakes be reduced from the current £100 per spin to £2.
The offer is worth £3.1bn if the government opts for a £2 stake, and £3.9bn if £50 is chosen.
In its 2016 financial year, GVC chief executive Kenny Alexander saw his pay rise by 430% to £19.5m, although this was largely driven by the company’s share price rise.
Jane Anscombe, chair of GVC’s remuneration committee, said the company would “re-engage” with shareholders after the vote. She said many “disagreed with the remuneration committee's view that the maximum incentive levels proposed were necessary to incentivise and retain the company's high performing management team.”
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