Activist investor slams Bwin as former 3i boss appointed chair

Oliver Smith
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BWIN.PARTY is facing shareholder criticism after the appointment of the former chief executive of private equity group 3i as the online gambling group’s new chairman.

Philip Yea, who was ousted as boss of 3i in 2009 in the wake of a disastrous year that saw the firm’s debts soar and shares fall, will succeed Bwin’s current chairman Simon Duffy when he steps down on 22 May at Bwin’s annual general meeting.

Following the announcement Jason Ader of SpringOwl Asset Management, an activist investor that holds a 6.1 per cent stake in Bwin, said: “We continue to question whether the choices and decisions made by this board are in line with the goal of restoring shareholder value”.

Bwin saw its share price slip 0.9 per cent on news of the appointment along with its first quarter results that showed net revenue had dropped eight per cent to €165.7m (£136.7m) as a result of a challenging poker market in Europe and Greece’s decision to block online gambling websites.