March 14, 2019 / 5:39 PM / 2 months ago

Czech investors divide up lottery group Sazka

PRAGUE, March 14 (Reuters) - Czech investment groups KKCG and EMMA Capital have agreed to split assets in lottery and gaming firm SAZKA Group, the biggest shareholder in Greek betting firm OPAP, the companies said on Thursday.

Under the deal, KKCG, owned by investor Karel Komarek, will get 100 percent of SAZKA Group and the shares it holds in its Czech lottery unit, as well as OPAP, Italy’s LOTTOITALIA and Casinos Austria.

EMMA, the investment group of investor Jiri Smejc, will get SAZKA’s shares in Croatian sportsbook company SuperSport and financial compensation of several hundred million euros, the statement said.

Before the split, which still must pass regulatory hurdles in respective countries, KKCG held 75 percent of SAZKA and EMMA 25 percent.

“With this settlement, the existing shareholding ratio of both partners in the SAZKA Group... will be accurately adhered to,” the companies said.

SAZKA Group had announced in October 2017 that it was looking at an initial public offering in London to help fund growth in Europe.

KKCG told Reuters an IPO remained an option and was evaluated periodically based on market conditions and other factors.

SAZKA Group has grown into one of Europe’s largest lottery and gaming operators with acquisitions in recent years.

Sales at the various companies in the group exceed 17 billion euros.

Komarek and Smejc said they were open to future joint investments. (Reporting by Robert Muller and Jason Hovet Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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