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Gambling giant Flutter wins investor backing for US listing

Gambling giant Flutter wins investor backing for US listing

The vote on a New York listing will come as Flutter Entertainment unveils John Bryant, a US-based businessman, as its next chairman.
Flutter Entertainment will disclose this week that it has won investors' backing to pursue a US listing, reinforcing City concerns about a prospective exodus of London-listed companies across the Atlantic.

Sky News understands that Flutter, which owns Paddy Power and Betfair, will announce at its annual meeting on Thursday that a requisite majority of shareholders have voted in favour of the move.

City investors said they expected Flutter to eventually abandon its London stock market presence, although this week's shareholder vote - which needs the approval of 75% or more - is to "implement an additional US listing".

Sources said they also anticipated that Flutter would announce the appointment of John Bryant, a senior US-based businessman, as its next chairman.

Mr Bryant, who is the senior independent director at Compass Group, the listed contract catering company, holds dual Australian and US nationality.

Sky News revealed his prospective appointment last month.

The £28bn company, which also owns Foxbet and Pokerstars, said in February that it was exploring seeking a US listing for its stock because of the growing importance to the group of FanDuel.

It anticipates the US-based operation becoming its largest business by revenue and an ever-greater proportion of its overall value.

The vote on its listing in New York comes as the government publishes a long-awaited white paper on gambling reform, with proposals for a clampdown on the industry and additional levies expected to be included.

The move to optimise its listing structure is the brainchild of Peter Jackson, Flutter's chief executive, who has presided over a steep increase in the company's value.

Flutter's plans have sparked a renewed debate about the attractiveness of the London Stock Exchange to multinational companies during a drought of sizeable City flotations.

That issue has been brought into sharp focus by the decision of SoftBank, owner of the giant British chip designer Arm Holdings, to take the company public in New York rather than London, despite intensive lobbying by UK government ministers.

CRH, the building materials group, has also announced plans to shift its primary listing from London to New York.

Other London-quoted companies with significant US operations, including Pearson, have signalled that they may be open to transatlantic moves in future.

A Flutter spokesman declined to comment.

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