March 31, 2017 / 2:19 PM / a year ago

BUZZ-Jackpotjoy: CEO says corporate governance is top of mind

** Newly-listed Jackpotjoy will put corporate governance at the heart of its business, its CEO Andy McIver told Reuters

** The world’s largest online bingo operator was formed as an M&A roll-up of a number of companies, mainly funded by borrowing. On Wednesday it reported results ahead of analyst expectations

** While listed in Canada as Intertain, the stock became a target for short-sellers , in part due to a management incentive plan where former CEO John Fitzgerald and current CFO Keith Laslop were paid a 2 pct bonus on all M&A transactions

** A strategic review costing £1.7 mln recommended the scheme be scrapped, with the CEO and CFO to be replaced

** It also recommended better disclosure on related party transactions after it emerged Intertain Bahamas president Darren Rennick was paid $7.8 mln CAD in finder’s fees for the M&A deals though nominee corporations

** Fitzgerald departed in 2016 with a severance payment of $10.6m CAD; Laslop, formerly a director of Prolexic Technologies and Gerova Financial, has remained as CFO with Jackpotjoy deciding against replacing him

** “We looked around and we thought the CFO was doing a very good job,” McIver said. “We kept him on and we will move forward now growing the business”

** The strategic review is “dead and buried”, McIver told Reuters

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