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Entain approaches former Coral and Sky Bet chiefs in hunt for next boss | Business News



Entain, the FTSE 100 gambling group, has been rebuffed by the former bosses of bookies Coral and Sky Bet in its hunt for a new chief executive.

Sky News has learnt that Entain, which owns Ladbrokes, approached Andy Hornby, who now runs Wagamama’s parent company, and Richard Flint, who holds a portfolio of roles, about the job.

Industry sources said that Dan Taylor, chief executive of Flutter Entertainment’s international operations, was also among the potential candidates for the role.

Entain, which has been under mounting pressure from activist investors because of its poor performance, declined to comment on Friday.

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Last month, it said that Barry Gibson, its chairman, would retire later this year and be replaced by interim chair Stella David.

The company ousted Jette Nygaard-Andersen, its former chief executive, late last year.

News of its approaches to Mr Hornby, a former chief executive of HBOS and Boots The Chemist, and Mr Flint, who ran Sky Bet for several years, is unsurprising given investors’ demands for a leader with extensive gambling sector expertise.

Mr Flint told Sky News’ business presenter Ian King recently that he was not interested in the Entain post despite having stepped down as a non-executive director of Flutter.

“Ignore what other bookmakers might say or the odds they might put out there – I am very much enjoying the package of things I’ve got on at the moment,” he said.

Entain, which has seen its shares nearly halved in the last 12 months, has hired bankers to sell PartyPoker and other non-core operations.

As well as Ladbrokes, Entain owns Coral and a stake in BetMGM, a major US betting player.

Entain has endured a torrid period as activists have built an increasingly prominent position on its share register.

The company has faced a deluge of regulatory problems, triggering sharp criticism of its governance and business practices.

Shares in Entain were trading at around 797.4p on Friday afternoon, giving the company a market capitalisation of £5bn.

Mr Hornby could not be reached for comment.



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