Bwin.party announced on Friday 16th May the departure of three of their directors from the board, with Deputy Chairman Rod Perry retiring once a successor has been selected, while Manfred Bodner and Helmut Kern will be stepping down as non-executive directors after the companies annual general meeting on the 22nd May.
The online gambling firm said in a statement that they had commenced a search for three new independent directors to replace those departures and at the same time again urged investors to vote against SpringOwl’s nominations for directors to the board.
SpringOwl the investment vehicle of Jason Ader who owns 5.27% of bwin.party wants to see boardroom changes and include their own nominations to shake up the company and bring more profit back to the company for investors.
However a spokesperson for bwin.party said that due to “the increasing complexity of the group’s business and regulatory environment, combined with the length of service of a number of the non-executive directors and the need to prevent the board from becoming too large and unwieldy,” it had decided to search for three new independent directors.
As a major shareholder SpringOwl is allowed to nominate one director to the board so long as otter shareholders agreed to the nomination, but SpringOwl are pushing for a total of four new nominations to the bwin.party board something the firm is totally against and fighting hard to oppose come the AGM.
In a move to stop SpringOwl Bwin.party said it has appointed executive search firm Spence Stuart to conduct an international search to identify suitable candidates to join the board.
“Bwin.party is operating in a challenging and rapidly changing business environment. The steps we are announcing today will ensure that succession is in place to allow the board to anticipate and address the complexities of technological change, the inevitable transition to regulated and taxed markets and also to maximise the long-term value of the business for its shareholders, customers and employees,” Chairman-Elect Philip Yea said in a statement.
It is going to be a very fiery AGM and observers are split on how shareholders will vote on SpringOwl’s nominations, the outcome could jeopardize the position of CEO Norbert Teufelberger should the vote go in favour of Jason Ader and his nominations.