Entain Plc (OTCPK:GMVHF), the owner of Ladbrokes and Coral brands, is expected to soon add Ricky Sandler of investment firm Eminence Capital as the betting company has been targeted by activists this year.
Sandler, founder of Eminence Capital, is expected to be added as an Entain (OTCPK:GMVHF) board member by the end of the month, according to a Sunday Times report on Saturday, which cited people familiar with the matter.
Sandler’s expected appointment comes just days after Entain (OTCPK:GMVHF) announced that the betting company’s Chief Executive Officer Jette Nygaard-Andersen was stepping down.
Sandler has previously called on Entain (OTCPK:GMVHF) to sell all or part of BetMGM, a joint venture with MGM Resorts (MGM).
The Sandler appointment also comes after the Financial Times reported last month that activist investors Sachem Heam Capital and Dendur Capital have accumulated stakes in Entain. The activists are worried about sales in Entain’s primary markets, including the UK, as regulators have been cracking down on the online betting market, as well as internal issues at Entain.
Activist investor Corvex Management also announced on Thursday that it recently acquired approximately 28 million shares or a 4.4% stake in Entain (OTCPK:GMVHF). The activist said that while the recent management change was a “necessary first step, further change is required.”
“Simply put, Entain’s recent performance has been unacceptable and all options must be considered to drive value,” Corvex said in
Entain deciding against appointing Corvex’s Keith Meister to the company’s board due to a conflict of interest, according to the Sunday Times. Meister is on the board of both MGM Resorts and the BetMGM and may be conflicted if there is any corporate activity with the two entities.