The battle between Grupo Codere investors and the enterprise founding Sampedro family intensifies as former Group President and Chief Executive Jose Antonio Sampedro refuses to sign-off the firm’s 2018 accounts.
The embattled Bolsa Madrid gambling group, sees itself caught in the middle of boardroom feud between the Sampedro family who maintain 19% of the company’s shareholding and Codere’s multiple US private equity investors.
This week, Jose Antonio and brother Luis Javier (former VP), refused to sign Codere’s full-year 2018 accounts, citing that the firm’s governance and investors had violated Spanish corporate ownership laws by removing the Sampedro from having any boardroom-level representation.
Representatives of Codere US investors maintain that the Sampedro family had been removed from all executive and governance functions in 2018, as part the firm’s agreed €1 billion bankruptcy restructure.
Countering investor claims, the Codere family states that US private equity firms such as Prudential and Silverpoint funds had illegally removed Jose Antonio from group leadership, and further suppressed the family’s ability to proposition its own rescue package.
Having lost a Madrid High Court lawsuit against Codere investors, last November the Sampedro’s filed a Connecticut District claim, demanding that US hedge funds Silverpoint, Contrarian and Abrahams Capital disclose information related to their combined debt holdings of Codere – stating that it was vital information that Madrid judges had refused to deliberate.
European analysts are monitoring Codere movements closely following a nightmare 2018, in which the heavily leveraged gambling group recorded losses of €40 million, primarily attributed to its LATAM divisions being negatively impacted by the Argentine Peso collapse.