Betfair faces board pressure over dividend misconduct

Betfair CEO – Breon Corcoran

The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has called for Betfair to appoint ‘new independent directors’, to investigate the operator’s dividend payments over the past three years. The LAPFF have additionally asked for a further investigation of Betfair’s  auditors KPMG and a review of Betfair corporate governance.

Betfair investors received the strongly worded letter from the LAPFF this weekend, questioning the corporate governance of Betfair and multiple oversight failures with regards to auditing and maintenance of the operator’s accounts.

The LAPFF have found several breaches of dividend misconduct by Betfair, claiming its 2011 final dividend and the interim and final dividends for 2012 and 2013 were paid erroneously by the operator since by law, the “company did not have sufficient company reserves to make those distributions and so they should not have been paid by the company to its shareholders”.

Furthermore the operator had paid £6.5 million shares at the year end in April 2012 was also executed when the “company did not have sufficient distributable reserves”.

The LAPFF stated in its letter to investors – “In LAPFF’s view, as these failures appear to be current and continuing, existing board members and contributing parties should be held to account.”

Betfair senior management are yet to comment publically on the matter

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