September 30, 2019 / 6:44 PM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Greece's securities regulator approves Sazka's bid for OPAP

(Adds Sazka Group statement)

ATHENS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Greece’s capital markets commission on Monday approved a bid by Czech-based Sazka Group to take full control of Greek gaming firm OPAP.

Greece sold a 33% stake in OPAP to Emma Delta, currently owned by Sazka Group and Georgios Melissanidis, in 2013 for about 650 million euros ($729.9 million) as part of a European Union-prescribed international bailout.

Sazka Group, which holds 66.7% in Emma Delta, launched in July an offer to acquire up to 67% of OPAP’s outstanding shares for 9.12 euros each.

Later on Monday, Sazka Group said that it was commencing the voluntary tender offer, adding that OPAP shareholders could tender their shares from October 1 until October 29.

More than 2 billion euros had been earmarked for the project, President of Sazka Group Karel Komarek said, calling the offer “a strong confirmation” of the Group’s confidence in the Greek economy.

Citi, it said, was acting as financial advisor to SAZKA Group. Alpha Bank was acting as receiving bank for the receipt of the declarations of acceptance. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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