Home NewsCasino Nicholas Batram is the latest director to leave Entain

Nicholas Batram is the latest director to leave Entain

by Bela Ksovreli
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Image: Shutterstock

Nicholas Batram has been removed as group director of M&A and Corporate Development.

The company also announced the immediate appointment of Ricky Sandler, the founder, CEO, and Chief Investment officer of global investment management organization Eminence Captial LP, as a non-executive director.

Batram, who has been with Entain for eight years, announced his departure in a LinkedIn posting. He is now a consultant specializing in M&A and corporate finance as well as financial communication, strategy, and communications.

Batram commented on his departure: “After almost eight years of amazing work at Entain it is time for me to take up a new challenge, and try being my own boss. I’ve had the privilege of being a part of this amazing transformational journey that the Group underwent over the past eight years.

“I have had the opportunity to work with four CEOs, and four CFOs as well as a number of talented people. It would be impossible to name everyone individually, but my team consists of James, Gareth Mik, Emma, and Rob.

They are outstanding performers. Highly professional, and great to work with.

Batram, who has been the Group Director for M&A and Corporate Development at Entain since January 2019, also serves as the Chair of the Ladbrokes Coral Charitable Trust and Director of Investor Relations & External Communications since April 2016. Before GVC Holdings rebranded into Entain in December 2018, Batram was the Director of Investor Relations & External Communications between April 2016 and December 2018.

Batram added: “I have learned so much in the last few years, as much as in the 25 years I spent in investment banking. And am grateful to everyone who has helped me on the journey.

It has been a great honour for me to be able to bring so many people to Entain via M&A. This includes business owners, operators, and advisors.

Last but not least: It has been a great honour for me to be Chairman of Ladbrokes Coral Charitable Trust. The generosity of our colleagues and customers is inspiring, despite the challenges that the retail industry faces.

I wish everyone the best of luck for the future. “The next chapter is awaited and I’m truly excited.”

Batram’s departure was one of many changes that occurred at Entain after Jette Ngaard Andersen announced her resignation as CEO in the middle of October.

Senior independent non-executive director Stella Dave was asked to take over as interim CEO until a replacement for the current CEO could be found.

Pierre Bouchut has also been appointed Senior Independent Director. Virginia McDowell is the Chairperson of the Remuneration Committee. Barry Gibson takes on the role as Chairperson of the People and Governance Committee. Rahul Wende becomes a member in the People and Governance Committee.

Eminence Capital’s CEO Ricky Sandler was recently appointed to the Non-Executive Board of Entain, joining its People & Governance, and Capital Allocation Committees.

Sandler stated that Entain was a strong business, with market leading brands, an innovative technology platform and positions of enviable importance in many key regions around the globe.

I look forward to working closely with my colleagues to ensure that Entain’s shareholders enjoy long-term value and success.

Sandler, as a member in the People and Governance Committee will be working with Entain on identifying an additional non-executive director that is mutually acceptable to Eminence and to the company.

“I’m pleased to welcome Ricky as a member of the Board of Entain,” said Barry Gibson.

Ricky is a business expert with a strong belief in our quality operations and growth potential. “We look forward to gaining from Ricky’s perspectives and expertise in our efforts to create value for Entain shareholder.”

Sandler expressed his discontent with Entain’s 2023 plans in June, when he said that the PS600m (approximately eight percent of the market cap) bookbuild, which was used to finance the purchase of Polish operator STS Group, through the issue of new shares represented “perplexing” on multiple levels.

Then, he said: “The market’s reaction to the equity offer should serve as a warning to Entain management and its tone deaf board.” This shareholder, we can confirm to you, is furious. The movement of the share price shows that he’s not the only one.

As shareholders begin to lose faith in Entain’s ability to create value over the long term, they are likely to support MGM’s purchase of Entain at a price that is significantly lower than what was previously expected.

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