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Entain board members have displayed their confidence in the company’s future by significantly increasing their shareholdings in the firm.

Share purchase details

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Entain chairman Barry Gibson, for example, more than quadrupled his previous shareholding of 29,836 shares with the purchase of 93,664 additional shares at a price of 928.8p each.

That gave Gibson’s purchase a total price of around £867,000 and brought his new shareholding to 123,500 shares.

Gibson’s wife Brenda also acquired an additional 15,532 shares at 937.2p, for a total purchase price of £145,566, bringing her total shareholding to 57,434 shares.

CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen, meanwhile, more than doubled her shareholding from 30,831 shares to 65,381 with the purchase of 35,000 new shares at 927.3p each. That transaction had a total value of around £324,559.

Senior independent non-executive director Stella David (pictured right) made the largest purchase of all as she snapped up 95,025 shares at a price of 945p each, giving the purchase a total value of £897,986.

That took her shareholding from just 17,161 to more than 112,000.

David has sat on Entain’s board of directors since February 2021 and also holds non-executive director positions with several other companies including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Domino’s and Bacardi Ltd, as well as acting as chair of Vue International cinema group.

Finally, non-executive director Rahul Welde (pictured left) purchased 21,644 shares in the business at 924p each, for a total of £199,991. He previously held no shares in the business.

Together, Entain’s directors now hold a little over 0.1% of the company’s issued share capital, or 665,682 shares.

New strategy incoming

The share purchases follow a low point in Entain’s share price, which has fallen by over 28% in 2023 to date.

In fact, shares recently reached a three-year low of £9.18 per share after the firm was hit by various setbacks throughout 2023.

In response, the company announced a new strategy last week, including a renewed focus on high-growth markets, an exit of non-core markets and a fresh approach to capital allocation.

The company’s newly focused strategy will see it fix its attention on high-return markets such as the US, Brazil, central and eastern Europe and New Zealand.

In a note shared with investors today, investment bank Peel Hunt reiterated its Buy rating for Entain shares and target price of 1,300p.

Following last week’s strategy announcement, Peel Hunt suggested Entain should start to recover next summer by reducing its costs, including M&A-related expenses, and investing in high growth areas such as its BetMGM joint venture in the US.

In 12 months, it said, “we believe Entain will clearly be taking share of a growing industry.”

That optimism came despite a 14% downward adjustment of Peel Hunt’s forecasted profit before tax for Entain in the full-year 2023, which it now expects to come in at £386m.