Ladbrokes owner Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings, said Monday that its Chief Executive Officer Shay Segev has given notice of his intention to leave the company after seven months in the role to become Co-CEO of DAZN, a privately owned global sports streaming platform. The announcement comes a few days after Entain rejected an $11 billion takeover proposal from MGM Resorts International.
Segev has a notice period of six months and will remain in his current role for that period or until a successor is in place. Entain's Board of Directors has a process well under way to find his successor, the company said in a press release. Segev said MGM’s approach had no bearing on his decision to leave.
Barry Gibson, Chairman of Entain, said: “We are sorry that Shay has decided to leave us but recognise that we cannot match the rewards that he has been promised. Entain has a wealth of talent across its leadership team and the business has never been stronger."
“I can confirm that this changes nothing with respect to the Board’s view of the recent proposal from MGM Resorts International to acquire Entain. The Board remains unanimous in our view that the proposal significantly undervalues the Company and its prospects," Gibson added.
Segev said: “I will be sad to leave the Company after five years but I have been offered a role which offers me a very different type of opportunity. Entain is in great shape after the successful launch of our new strategy. I also want to emphasise that the recent interest from MGM Resorts has had absolutely no bearing on my decision, and I fully support the Board’s decision to reject their proposal. Entain has a great team of leaders and an exciting future ahead through its growth and sustainability strategy, and I will do all I can to continue to support the Company.”
Analysts at Jefferies and Peel Hunt suggested that Segev’s exit makes a takeover by MGM more likely, Reuters reports. The billionaire chairman of MGM Resorts’ largest shareholder IAC expressed doubt that the takeover attempt would succeed. Barry Diller told the Financial Times that in an all-stock transaction, public market values of the companies “have to align completely” resulting in a high level of uncertainty around the deal. IAC said on Friday that it would invest an additional $1 billion in MGM to fund a cash alternative for Entain shareholders unwilling to accept shares as part of MGM’s all-stock proposal, which values Entain at about £8 billion.
In a separate statement, DAZN said Segev’s background in technology and digital transformation at Entain and previously Playtech meant he was ideally positioned to help the company grow. DAZN Group acting CEO James Rushton has been named as the other Co-CEO.
"It is incredible to be given an opportunity to lead a business with global reach and ambition as well as the technology and resources to deliver sports to the world," Segev commented about his upcoming role. "This role allows me to combine my passion for sport and transformative technology to disrupt and improve the consumer experience."