Business – Stakis FD set to leave after Ladbroke deal

Stakis finance director Neil Chisman is set to leave the company after the board of the hotel and casino chain accepted a #1.16bn offer from the Ladbroke Group.

The bid was based on synergies between the two groups, which would blend Stakis’ management expertise into Ladbroke’s Hilton hotel chain, with Stakis’ chief executive assuming a similar role within Hilton International.

Cost savings of #16m are likely to accrue from combining the two groups’ administrative and marketing functions.

A Ladbroke spokesman denied press reports that 200 jobs at Stakis would go when the enlarged group centralised its head office functions in Watford.

‘Ladbroke expects to retain an administrative presence in Glasgow,’ he said.

Although a final decision had not been made about the fate of Stakis’ finance staff, Chisman told Accountancy Age that he would be going.

‘It was clear from the start of negotiations that there would only be one FD, and that he would be Brian Wallis, Ladbroke’s FD,’ said Chisman.

‘You could say I was one of the cost savings of the merger – and I’m open to offers.’

Referring to his compensation, Chisman said he was standing down ‘with a small smile, not gritted teeth’, adding that he would be working with Wallis for a handover period.

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