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GVC Chief Kenny Alexander Slashes Personal Stake, Giving the Shivers to Investors

A duo of the gambling powerhouse’s top executives cut their personal stakes, causing shares to tumble more than 18%

Gambling giant GVC Holdings had its worst day on the stock market in nine years after the company’s top bosses offloaded massive chunks of their personal stakes at a big discount, sending cold shivers to investors.

Shares of GVC plunged more than 18% on Friday on the heels of news that CEO Kenny Alexander and Chairman Lee Feldman have slashed their personal stakes. The company thus saw more than £700 million reduced from its total value.

Mr. Alexander offloaded more than half of his personal stock to trouser £13.7 million, while Mr. Feldman sold three-quarters of his stake for £6 million. Investors interpreted the actions of the company’s top bosses as a red flag that confidence in GVC’s future has diminished.

Mr. Alexander said yesterday that both he and the company’s Chairman do not plan to reduce their holdings below their current levels. The executive went on to explain that he is 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.”

While Mr. Alexander maintains that he is confident in GVC’s bright future, the company warned investors earlier this week that it expects the upcoming crackdown on gambling machines in the UK to impact its core earnings by £135 million this year.

Growing Regulatory Pressure in the UK

Lobbying groups have managed to convince the UK Government to implement a cut to the maximum stake on the highly controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) this April. The maximum bet will be reduced to just £2 from £100.

Last year, GVC bought Ladbrokes Coral, the owner of UK’s largest retail betting chain with the largest number of gambling machines. The company said earlier this week that it expects the FOBTs clampdown to result in the closure of up to a thousand of its shops across the nation.

In addition, UK-licensed online gambling businesses are facing growing regulatory pressure by the UK Gambling Commission. The country’s gambling regulator has embarked on a witch-hunt against all kinds of improprieties within the space and has rolled out new, tougher regulations, demanding strict compliance with its rules and policies and slapping hefty fines on those failing to meet all the necessary requirements.

One of GVC’s subsidiaries – bwin – was fined by the Commission last year for repeated breaches of UK advertising codes. The company was ordered to pay £350,000 for its compliance failures.

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The post GVC Chief Kenny Alexander Slashes Personal Stake, Giving the Shivers to Investors appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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