August 28, 2008 / 1:36 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Inteltek makes best bid for Turkish betting firm

(Adds quotes, details, background)

By Hidir Goktas

ANKARA, Aug 28 (Reuters) - The Inteltek venture of Greece’s Intralot (INLr.AT) and Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell (TCELL.IS) made the best bid on Thursday in a tender to operate the Turkish sports betting company Iddaa.

Tender commission Chairman Mustafa Turgut said Inteltek, current operator of Iddaa, made an offer to take 1.4 percent of revenue under the revenue-sharing scheme, the lowest of three offers in the second and final round of bidding.

Turkcell shares were 1.29 percent higher after the tender, slightly outperforming the main Turkish index. Intralot shares were 4.8 percent lower.

Turkish betting authorities at the live televised tender hailed the low level of the bids, which marked a sharp decline from the revenue-sharing ratio in the current franchise - 12 percent.

“We are faced with a very successful level,” Yunus Ucar, head of the government’s betting authority, told the tender participants.

In February, Inteltek reached a deal to extend by up to one year its contract for the 4,000 point-of-sale network in Turkey.

    The authorities will now decide whether Inteltek will be given the rights to operate the company under the new 10-year deal.

    “After a maximum three-day approval period, the administration will make its judgement and inform the parties of the result in writing,” Ucar said.

    Under the current deal, Iddaa’s revenues amounted to 6.783 billion lira ($5.724 billion) between April 17, 2004, when the rights to operate Iddaa were first awarded, and Aug. 25, 2008.

    A consortium of Turkey’s Dogan Yayin Holding DYHOL.IS, Italy’s Lottomatica LTO.MI and Snai (SNAI.MI) made the best bid of 6.1 percent in the first round of the tender. In the second round it bid 2.1 percent.

    Dogan Yayin shares surged 8 percent after the first round, but after the tender they were up just 2 percent.

    Britain’s Ladbrokes LAD.L also took part in the tender in a venture with Turkey’s Lotos and made a second-round bid of 3.8 percent. Ladbrokes shares were 2.5 percent higher in London.

    The winner of the tender will begin operations within six months of signing the contract. During the intervening period, the existing contract with Inteltek will remain in effect. (Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Holmes and David Cowell)

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