Flutter Entertainment, the parent company of sports betting and gaming brands globally, including FanDuel in the US and Betfair in the UK and Ireland, announced in a filing to the Stock Exchange and Central Bank of Ireland that Parvus Asset Management now holds more than 7% of the voting rights.
Equity swaps and put options
By sending the standard form TR-1 for notification of major holdings to be notified for the acquisition or disposal of financial instruments, Flutter, listed on the FTSE, revealed that on May 25, Parvus Asset Management Europe had exceeded the threshold of 7% of voting rights through stock and option swaps.
Parvus acquired equity swaps expiring June 2022 to May 2025, as well as put options expiring June 2022 to add 12,457,399 new votes and now owns 7.09% of all voting rights at Flutter .
Parvus, a London-based investment manager for a number of funds and a background in the gaming industry with positions in William Hill and The Stars Group, is owned by Edoardo Mercadante, formerly of US investment bank Merrill Lynch.
“Under the terms of the various investment management agreements, Parvus Asset Management Europe Limited has voting power over all physical holdings held by these clients.”
Parvus notified Flutter of the newly acquired voting rights on May 27 and triggered Flutter’s obligation as an issuer to notify the Stock Exchange and the Central Bank of Ireland where Flutter Entertainment is incorporated.
By increasing its voting rights from 6.03% to 7.09%, Parvus became the third largest holder of voting rights at Flutter – behind the American pension fund Capital Group, which owns 14%, and the group of capital- investment Caledonia Investments with 10%.
BlackRock also active
The increase in voting rights by Parvus Management is the second for the investment manager in the month after the initial increase from 5.1% to 6.03% on May 4. On the same day, Flutter released its first quarter financial results showing strong revenue growth driven primarily by its US operations.
Parvus is not the only party active with financial instruments at Flutter as BlackRock, Inc., an American investment management firm, notified Flutter of changes to its voting rights attached to stocks and other instruments three times between May 13 and May 19.
Interestingly, BlackRock maintained its voting rights at 6.74%-6.75% and only changed the balance between the voting rights attached to the shares and the voting rights via other financial instruments.