Nueva Codere proposes former Ladbrokes CEO Bell as non-executive chair

Nueva Codere, the operator previously known as Grupo Codere, has proposed appointing former Ladbrokes chief executive Chris Bell as its new non-executive chairman.


Bell is currently non-executive chairman of XLMedia and will step down from this role in order to take up the position with Codere.

He will also leave his role as an independent director at Rank Group in order to fully devote his time to Codere.

Bell spent almost two decades with Hilton Group/Ladbrokes, having joined the business in 1991. He was appointed to the board of directors in 2001 before going on to become CEO of Ladbrokes in 2006 following the sale of the Hilton Hotels division, remaining in the role until 2010.

Since 2009, Bell has held a number of other senior non-executive roles, including chairman of Game Group and Technfinancials, senior independent director of Quintain Estates and Development, and non-executive director at the Spirit Pub Company and Gaming Realms.

Bell also currently serves as non-executive chair of Team17 Group, OnTheMarket and a non-executive director of The Royal Airforce Charitable Trust.

“Codere, has demonstrated over the past 40 years its fundamental strength, versatility and leadership,” Bell said. “It is exciting to be a part of this project and promote this new stage that the company has initiated, in its way back to a growth path and consolidation as a leading multinational in the private gambling industry.

“I am truly honoured for the trust placed in me and committed to the creation of value after this difficult period. The company has a management team and talent that will undoubtedly encourage its promising potential.”

Speaking about Bell’s departure from XLMedia, its chief executive Stuart Simms said: “We are very grateful to Chris for his exceptional service to XLMedia. I would like to personally thank him for his practical support and wise counsel.

“Chris has been very supportive as we have sought to restructure to become more agile and align the business with new growth markets – an initiative we will complete during the first half of this year – as well as integrating three hugely successful US acquisitions, which we believe will be pivotal to our long-term success.”

The appointment remains subject to approval at a shareholders’ general meeting on 7 February, during which the new-look group will complete the construction of its board of directors.

Codere was taken over by creditors in November last year, following a debt-for-equity agreement struck in April as the previous business struggled to pay its mounting debts. The business was transferred to Codere New Topco SA, a holding company in which the bondholders have a 95% stake.

This also saw the business undergo a corporate reorganisation through the creation of four companies in Luxembourg: Codere New Topco, Codere New Midco Sàrl, Codere New Holdco SA and Codere Luxembourg 3 Sàrl.