After a contentious week that saw three members of bwin.party’s board step down after an independent evaluation ordered by new chairman Philip Yea, the company reached an agreement with activist investor Jason Ader to reshape the board.
One of those who stepped down was Manfred Bodner, a co-founder of the company.
Ader’s hedge fund, SpringOwl Asset Management, has acquired about 5 percent of the company and has been urging stockholders to approve a major revamp of the company’s board, saying the company is not providing the return it should. He had proposed remaking the board with four of his nominees, but the final agreement has placed SpringOwl President Daniel Silvers on the board, and the company said it would consider placing Ader nominee Michael B. Fertik, chief executive and founder of Reputation.com, on the board as a replacement for one of the three departed members.
“I am pleased to be able to demonstrate common ground with SpringOwl and welcome its support,” said Yea.
Bodner, a co-founder of the bwin half of bwin.party, will remain as a paid consultant and Deputy Chairman Rod Perry will leave once a successor can be found. Audit & Risk Committee Chairman Helmut Kem will step down after the 2015 annual general meeting.
Ader conducted a similar activist campaign against slot manufacturer IGT and won a similar settlement, also landing Silvers on that board.