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Flutter's acquisition of Stars Group to go ahead despite coronavirus concern

By Iqbal Johal

The Stars Group has announced its proposed merger with Flutter Entertainment is still set to go ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak.

A special shareholder meeting will be held on 24 April to approve the all-share combination with Flutter, which will also provide updates on the merger and composition of its board of directors.

However, The Stars Group’s CEO Rafi Ashkenazi will not become COO as previously decided, but will instead take the role of consultant to Flutter, advising its CEO on Stars Group’s businesses related to the combined company.

The board of directors of both Stars Group and Flutter agreed, that although the coronavirus will have an affect on the industry, they still believe strongly in the strategic reasoning for the merger.

Flutter announced it will suspend its dividend for the current financial year ending 31 December 2020 and existing shareholders will be entitled to receive a final 2019 dividend of 133 pence per ordinary share, to be paid in Flutter shares instead of cash.

Both Stars Group and Flutter also agreed the Flutter board of directors will comprise of 15 directors until 31 December, with a total of nine Flutter directors during this period.

It was announced last October Flutter agreed to acquire Stars Group, to create a combined business with annual revenue of £3.8bn ($4.6bn).

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