Friday, February 23, 2024

Entain re-elects directors, approves employee share plans at annual general meeting | Yogonet International

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Global sports betting and gaming group Entain has held its Annual General Meeting. At the reunion, carried out last Friday, the company approved a number of resolutions, among them a series of shares-related plans and director re-elections.

The company’s shareholders approved resolutions to receive the business’ annual report and audited accounts for the past year period; to approve the directors’ remuneration report for 2021; and to re-appoint KPMG LLP as auditor. Votes were also cast in favor of authorizing the directors to agree the auditor’s remuneration.

With over 90% of votes in favor, David Satz, Robert Hoskin, Stella David, Vicky Jarman, Mark Gregory, Rob Wood, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, J M Barry Gibson, Pierre Bouchut, and Virginia McDowell have all been re-elected as directors. They have also been authorized to allot the company’s shares.

Former non-executive director Peter Isola was not re-elected as he resigned in March, ahead of the meeting. Last week, the company announced the appointment of former Unilever exec Rahul Welde as independent Non-Executive Director, a move that will take effect from July 1, 2022.

Two plans were approved at the meeting: the Entain plc free share plan, and the Entain plc employee share purchase plan. These two schemes were first presented in the “Notice of Annual General Meeting 2022,” which was first unveiled back in May.

The free share plan seeks to offer all eligible employees “free” shares in the company; while the employee share purchase plan (ESPP) is for all eligible US employees, with options granted under the scheme intended to qualify for beneficial tax treatment pursuant to section 423 of the US Internal Revenue Code 1986.

Both the Free Share Plan and ESPP are standard awards for eligible employees giving them an ownership interest in Entain, thereby aligning their interests with shareholders and strengthening and building a global identity and culture across all countries in which the group operates,” Entain said earlier this year. “These plans also assist with employee retention.”

Additionally, a slate of three special resolutions were passed on Friday: to approve the general disapplication of pre-emption rights; to approve the specific disapplication of pre-emption rights for acquisitions and other capital investments; and to authorize the directors to acquire the company’s shares.

The company’s 2022 annual general meeting was held at The Brewery, 52 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SA at 10.00 a.m (London time). The Company’s audited annual report and accounts for the past year were published ahead of the meeting, on March 25.

The company posted total group revenue of £3.8 billion ($5.8 billion) for the past year, an 8% increase in a year-over-year comparison. Entain’s gross profits were £2.4 billion ($3.2 billion), and its underlying EBITDA went up 5% to £881.7 million ($1.1 billion). Online underlying EBITDA also went up 12% to £899 million ($1.2 billion).

The company also reported a 12% growth in online net gaming revenue, which marks the ninth consecutive year of double-digit online growth. In retail, year-end volumes returned to over 90% of pre-Covid levels. Meanwhile, BetMGM, the group’s joint venture in the US, saw net gross revenue of $850 million, up nearly five times compared to 2020.


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