Codere founding family demands €900m compensation from US investors 

Grupo Codere SA is caught up in a further investor dispute, after the company’s founding Martinez Sampedro family demanded that their minority shareholding be acquired by the firm’s remaining US investors.

The Martinez Sampedro family have filed an appeal with Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), urging the regulator to demand that US investors acquire the family’s 14% stake in Codere for a minimum purchase price of €900 million.

The dispute relates to Codere’s 2018 bankruptcy restructuring, which saw a group of US investors take control of the firm, having renegotiated the firm’s €1 billion debt arrangements.  

The family maintains that US investors had ‘purposely bypassed’ recommending a takeover offer to minority shareholders once they had gained 30% control in the company, in accordance with Spanish market takeover laws.

The €900 million buyout is deemed as a ‘justifiable compensation’ for the Martinez Sampedro family, who were denied voting rights as the family’s representation on the board was terminated following the restructure of Codere.

CNMV latest company filing detailed that Codere’s current ownership is formed by  Edward Arnold Mule as largest shareholder with 23.36%, accompanied by US funds Silver Point and M&G PLC with 21.79% and  20.97% respectively.

US investors dismissed the claim, stating that their combined takeover was fundamental to rescuing Codere from bankruptcy, in which duties were to debt holders over existing company shareholders.

Despite its rescue, Codere continues to be besieged by outstanding debt and solvency issues as the Bolsa-Madrid operator sees itself in a continued state of financial restructuring.

Last month, corporate governance announced that the company had reached a ‘liquidation agreement’ with creditors who agreed to convert €350 million of Codere debt into equity – provided existing investors agreed to a €225 cash injection.    

The further round of restructuring follows a last-minute €250 million credit facility made available to Codere during 2020 trading, allowing the company to keep its South American units afloat.

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