Andrew Higginson frontrunner to chair Flutter-Stars enterprise

UK media reports further boardroom changes for FTSE betting groups, as Flutter Entertainment eyes its next Chairman appointment to replace incumbent Gary McGann in 2020.

This weekend, The Sunday Times reported that Flutter’s new Non-Executive Director Andrew Higginson was the frontrunner to replace Gary McGann (69), who is set to retire next year.

Higginson, who serves as the current Group Chairman of UK supermarket Morrisons Plc, joined Flutter governance last month to broaden the FTSE firm’s mass-market commercial and retail capacities.

Regarded as one the UK’s top business executives, Higginson has also served as an executive director to Tesco Plc, Poundland Group and as an independent advisor to Sky Media and the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

In its report, the Sunday Times details that Higginson will likely be announced as new Chairman in the firm’s next AGM scheduled for May 2020, by which time Flutter governance hopes to have cleared all regulatory hurdles allowing the company to merge with rival The Stars Group Inc.

A Flutter-Stars combination would see Higginson lead a new 14-man board, with current Stars Group Chairman Divyesh Gadhia acting as Deputy Chair, overseeing an executive leadership team led by Flutter CEO Peter Jackson.

The former Chief Executive of Irish packaging conglomerate Smurfit Kappa, McGann was appointed Group Chairman of Paddy Power Plc in May 2015 and would shortly approve of the Irish bookmaker’s £5 billion merger with Betfair Plc (deal initiated August 2015) as both operators faced significant UK regulatory changes  impacting their retail and digital channels.

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