UK competition watchdog okays Stars Group, Sky Bet union

The UK’s competition watchdog has okayed The Stars Group’s (TSG) takeover of Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG), while the latter company has named a new CEO.

On Thursday, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had cleared TSG’s $4.7b acquisition of SBG. The deal, which was announced in April and completed in July, prompted the CMA to issue an enforcement order freezing the integration process while it investigated whether the deal was a good thing for consumers.

The CMA’s full decision has yet to be released, but TSG (the parent company of PokerStars) issued a statement celebrating the good news and announcing a raft of new senior management assignments “to execute [SBG’s] integration plans, including the delivery of expected cost synergies.”

This executive shuffle will see SBG’s current CEO Richard Flint shift to executive chairman, while SBG’s CFO Ian Proctor has been elevated to fill the CEO’s seat. Also, former director of SBG’s gaming brands Conor Gant is now chief operating officer. Grant will report to Proctor, while Flint and Proctor will report to TSG CEO Rafi Ashkenazi.

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