Corvex looks to appoint partner to Kindred board in pursuit of sale

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Activist investment fund Corvex Management is set to appoint one of its partners to the board of Kindred, with the likely aim that they will push for the operator to be sold from this role.
Kindred Group office

Corvex acquired a 10% stake in Kindred earlier this year, and immediately announced that it would push for the operator’s board to pursue a sale.

The Kindred board did so, but was unable to find a buyer at an appropriate price. iGB understands that questions about how Kindred had adapted to the increasing prevalence of locally regulated markets became an obstacle for some prospective buyers.

Corvex then increased its stake to become Kindred’s top shareholder. Upon announcing this, it requested the opportunity to have a role on Kindred’s nomination committee, allowing it to select board members.

Corvex founder Keith Meister was named as chairman of the nomination committee, giving him significant influence in board appointments.

Now, the Meister-led committee has chosen Corvex partner James Gemmel to sit on the board. Kindred shareholders will vote on Gemmel’s appointment at an extraordinary general meeting on 14 November.

Earlier this year, sources with an understanding of the Kindred sale process suggested that, should the operator fail to find a buyer, Corvex could push to have Henrik Tjärnström removed as CEO in order to introduce new management that could make the business more sale-friendly. However, it remains to be seen whether Gemmel will aim to do this.

Gemmel has previously worked with the boards of directors of Exelon Corporation, Occidental Petroleum, and The Williams Companies. Before joining Corvex, he worked as an investment analyst at Federated Hermes Inc and as an investment analyst for the Prudent Bear Fund of David W Tice & Associates.

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