On Tuesday (June 5) ex-Entain executives announced that they purchased 6.6 percent of 888 Holdings, helping the stock in the company to soar as high as 26.5 percent on Wednesday, continuing the previous day's gain of 14 percent.
888 Holdings PLC's, the parent company of William Hill, share price was £100.05 (€116.34) when the market closed on Tuesday.
The executives are Lee Feldman, the former chair of Entain, and Kenny Alexander and Shay Segev, both former CEOs of Entain. Stephen Morana is also a part of the move, who was also a former director at Entain. Non-Entain team members include Daniel Shribman, the CIO at B. Riley Financial, a middle-market investment bank.
Entain itself owns a large portfolio of gaming offerings. They include BetCity, bwin, Coral, Ladbrokes and many others.
Entain announced in 2020 that, in the coming years, it aimed to exit countries where gaming is not regulated. This year it announced in its 2023 ESG report that it would be leaving nine such (unnamed) countries.
However, the company said that it would be staying in countries on the path to regulation, where it does not hold local licences but “foresee positive changes in regulation”. Peru, Brazil and Chile were cited as examples “which are all in the process of rolling out license regimes in the next 12 to 18 months”.
Peru’s market is due to go live in the next six months; however, neither Brazil nor Chile has approved their respective gambling bills yet. Brazil will likely happen this year, while Chile’s progress is a question mark.
888 is far from its peak valuation, in the last year stock prices have plunged more than 50 percent in the wake of regulatory penalties and debts from acquiring William Hill.
888 has faced further difficulties in 2023.
In January, CEO Itai Pazner resigned in the midst of an investigation into VIP accounts for money laundering.
In March, William Hill announced that it would be paying a £19.2m settlement with the UK Gambling Commission for violating anti-money laundering procedures.