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Macdonald Gets Company Secretary Role at Star Entertainment

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Australia-based operator Star Entertainment Group is set to appoint Hamish Macdonald as the new group Company Secretary.

Macdonald is an industry veteran with a wealth of experience that spans legal, regulatory, and governance fields. Before his current role, Macdonald served at the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) as the General Counsel and Company Secretary. He also chaired the NZX Corporate Governance Institute. Additionally, to his previous experience, he has held legal positions in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Macdonald’s appointment will be confirmed after all required regulatory approvals have been secured. However, till then, Jennie Yuen will continue to be the point of contact for communication with the Australian Stock Exchange.

Nawal Silfani, who became the company secretary in September 2022, will transition to a new strategic governance position within the group.

Leadership Changes

This update follows Star Entertainment Group's naming of David Foster as its new Chairman earlier this year. Foster took over the position in March, replacing Ben Heap, who held the role for less than a year.

Heap became the group’s Chairman in June 2022, initially serving as Interim Chairman, following the departure of Matt Bekier, who held the position of Managing Director and CEO.

However, in December, Star Entertainment Group revealed that Heap would resign from his position due to his involvement in civil proceedings initiated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Heap was one of the executives and current and former directors indicted by the ASIC’s investigations on charges of money laundering and dealing with individuals with reported criminal links.

Full-Year Loss of AU$2.4bn

Financially, Star Entertainment Group is not doing very great as it recently reported a full-year loss amounting to AU$2.4 billion. This financial setback was primarily attributed to a significant writedown in the value of its casinos located in Sydney, Gold Coast, and Brisbane.

Furthermore, the company disclosed significant items" amounting to $2.8 billion in expenditures for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2023.

In recent years, Star Entertainment has been at the receiving end of a string of fines and penalties. These included a non-cash impairment of AU$2.2 billion on the Sydney, Gold Coast, and Treasury Brisbane goodwill and property assets. Regulatory and legal costs total AU$595 million, debt restructuring expenses of AU$54 million, and redundancy costs of AU$16 million.

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