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NEWS 17 January 2018

Family ties severed as Codere reshuffles executive pack

By Robert Simmons
Spain’s Grupo Codere has announced an extensive management and governance restructure that will see the founding Martinez Sampedro family end their tenure in charge of the gambling operator.

José Antonio Martínez Sampedro, a descendant of the company’s founder, will be replaced as group chief executive by Vicente Di Loreto, who most recently served as COO of Codere Latin America between 2005 and 2010.

At the same time, the company announced the appointment of a new executive chairman, Norman Sorensen Valdez, who has been a member of Codere’s board of directors since 2016 in a variety of roles.

In a statement detailing the appointments, Valdez was keen to embrace the new challenge, saying: "We face this new stage of Codere with the hope of making a great project grow. We have the certainty of being able to count on the talent and potential to face a promising future to continue at the forefront of the private gaming sector."

The move comes after the company concluded a successful restructuring of its €1bn long-term debts. According to reports in Spain, the private equity firm in charge of this process demanded the executive changes following completion.

Vicente Di Loreto, new CEO of Grupo Codere added: “it is time to strengthen Codere's leadership in its current markets, while increasing resources and efforts in on-line markets, enhancing the integration between them and enriching the value proposition for our customers.

“Codere is a great organisation that has managed to be at the forefront in recent decades, our intention is to continue creating value and enhancing our experience to address new projects and capture opportunities for growth.”

It is expected that the Martinez Sampedro family, who currently control an 18% equity stake in the business, will move to challenge the leadership changes at the company’s upcoming shareholder meeting, to be held over the next few months.

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