FTSE 250 gambling group GVC Holdings is set to quit the Isle of Man and move its place of management to London after 99.98% of the company’s shareholders approved the relocation at a recent extraordinary general meeting.
During an extraordinary general meeting that took place in Gibraltar on Thursday, GVC’s shareholders backed overwhelmingly a proposal that first emerged on January 10 for the gambling operator’s relocation.
The recently approved plan will see GVC relocate its “place of management and control and consequently its tax residence to the United Kingdom.” Shareholders also approved on Thursday the adoption of new articles that will facilitate the imminent relocation.
GVC established its Isle of Man headquarters in 2010 and has maintained its management control functions there since then. The gambling group has thus been able to benefit from a more friendly tax regime for the provision of its services.
However, the company stated earlier this year that it has grown significantly over the past decade and an enlarged enterprise with massive international presence required flexibility in its management control functions. This had become a constraint under Isle of Man rules and regulations, GVC also pointed out.
GVC currently manages a wide portfolio of both retail and online gaming and sports betting brands that includes bwin and partypoker, which the company added through the acquisition of bwin.party Digital Entertainment in 2016, and Ladbrokes and Coral, which it gained control over through the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral in 2018.
Removing Key Corporate Directorial Constraints
GVC said that its relocation would remove pressing corporate directorial restraints it has been facing in the Isle of Man.
Jay Dossetter, Head of Media Relations for GVC, explained last month that the company’s relocation would increase its efficiency as it would be able to hold key meetings closer to its largest market.
Under the gambling group’s existing Articles of Association and current tax residency, it cannot hold Board or shareholder meetings within the UK. After the relocation, such meetings will be held within the country and this will reduce costs and increase efficiency.
GVC’s Articles of Association were drafted a decade ago when it first set foot in the Isle of Man. However, the company was much smaller at the time. The changes that shareholders approved on Thursday would reflect where it is today.
The relocation will not affect GVC’s day-to-day operations. Online gambling services will continue to be provided from Gibraltar, while GVC’s UK retail betting estate will continue to be run from within the UK.
GVC has also recently confirmed the appointment of gambling industry veteran Barry Gibson as its new Chairman. Mr. Gibson replaces the company’s former Chair Lee Feldman.
Mr. Gibson previously sat on the boards of Playtech and William Hill, and served as director of bwin.party right before the company was purchased by GVC. His appointment comes into effect this month.
Source: GVC Press Office