Ader, whose asset management firm SpringOwl is Bwin.Party's fourth
largest shareholder, said in April he wanted four new directors
elected to the company's board to tackle what he describes as a
continuing decline in the business.
Bwin.Party has urged shareholders to vote against the proposal,
saying it would make the board too large and hamper decision making.
Ahead of its annual meeting on May 22, Ader said in a statement
Bwin's board had "overseen significant shareholder value
destruction" due to a failing strategy that has seen it underperform
its rivals. Ader also criticized a "runaway cost structure" and its
impact on the company's profitability.
"We have received incredible support from the Bwin.Party
shareholders we have already spoken with and look forward to more
conversations as shareholders have the opportunity to add sorely
needed skills to the board of our company," Ader said.
He did not give details on the level of support SpringOwl had won.
Bwin was not immediately available for comment on Monday, which is a
public holiday in the United Kingdom.
Ader has proposed that internet entrepreneur Michael Fertik, lawyer
Francis Grady, venture capitalist Kalendu Patel and gaming industry
expert Steven Rittvo be added to Bwin.Party's existing nine-strong
[to top of second column]
Activist investors push for change at firms they believe are
undervalued and can provide better shareholder returns via a change
in strategy or management. Ader, an ex-Wall Street gaming analyst,
battled with U.S. slot-machine maker International Game Technology
last year, winning a board seat for his firm.
Ader has said the four new directors he proposes to be elected to
Bwin.Party's board would provide significant expertise in online
gaming, technology and U.S. banking systems.
Bwin.Party has said it does not have sufficient information or time
to review the suitability of each candidate, and believed it would
not be in the interest of the company and investors for a
shareholder with a stake of 5.25 percent to nominate so many
directors onto the board.
In March, the firm posted a 35 percent drop in full-year earnings to
108 million euros ($149.75 million) due to falling revenue,
increased gaming taxes in Germany and start-up costs in New Jersey.
(Reporting by Neil Maidment)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.