Segev is expected to join the global sports streaming platform DAZN as co-CEO, although he has a six-month notice period and will remain at Entain during that time or until his ‘a successor is in place.
The news shock comes just a week after it was revealed that MGM Resorts International had proposed a £ 8.1 billion takeover for Entain, an offer which Entain rejected as undervaluing the company.
Current President Barry Gibson said: “We are sorry Shay has decided to leave us, but recognize that we cannot match the rewards promised to him. “
He added: “I can confirm that this does not change the opinion of the board of directors on the recent proposal by MGM Resorts International to acquire Entain. The board of directors remains unanimous in our opinion that the proposal considerably undervalues the company and its prospects. “
Segev joined Entain in 2016 and took over from Kenny Alexander as CEO in July after what has been described as a “long-term succession process”.
He said on Monday: “I’ll be sad to leave the company after five years, but I’ve been offered a position that gives me a very different kind of opportunity.
“Entain is in great shape after the successful launch of our new strategy. I would also like to stress that the recent interest of MGM Resorts has absolutely no impact on my decision, and I fully support the decision of the board of directors to reject their proposal.
“Entain has an excellent leadership team and a bright future with its growth and sustainability strategy, and I will do my best to continue supporting the business.
An offer “too good to refuse”
David Brohan, games and entertainment analyst at Goodbody Brokers, said the news was a surprise and would be considered “unnecessary” given ongoing discussions with MGM.
He added of Segev: “It looks like he was offered a financial package at DAZN that was too good to be turned down and something that a listed company could not match. “
InterActiveCorp (IAC), MGM’s largest shareholder, last week supported Entain’s takeover approach, offering to invest $ 1 billion to support the transaction.
The casino giant offered 0.6 shares for each Entain share, but also indicated that a partial cash alternative could also be made available to Entain shareholders, which IAC said it would be willing to help fund by investing in MGM up to $ 1. bn.
However, IAC Chairman Barry Diller later expressed doubts about the success of MGM’s offer.
He told the Financial Times: “It would be great if MGM could do this with Entain, but whether it happens or not I’m skeptical and if it doesn’t I’m optimistic. “
Entain’s share price closed lower on Monday from 37p to 1438p.
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 9.28 AM, JAN 11, 2021