July 9, 2019 / 8:42 AM / 11 days ago

Sazka Group launches full takeover bid for Greece's OPAP

ATHENS (Reuters) - Czech-based Sazka Group has launched a bid to take full control of Greece’s OPAP (OPAr.AT), Europe’s fourth-largest betting firm by revenue.

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 (£583 million) as part of a European Union-prescribed international bailout.

In a filing to the Athens bourse late on Monday, Sazka Group, which holds 66.7% in Emma Delta, said it is now seeking to acquire all shares it does not own in OPAP for 9.12 euros a share.

The offer, which is for up to 67% of OPAP’s outstanding shares, started on Monday.

Athens-listed OPAP offers sports bets, lotteries and video-lottery terminals in Greece and Cyprus. It had gross gaming revenues of 1.5 billion euros in 2018.

OPAP said its board will evaluate Sazka’s offer and will issue an opinion.

Shares in OPAP were down 4.2% at 9.63 euros by 0815 GMT. Trading resumed on Tuesday after it was temporarily suspended on Monday pending the announcement of the offer.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Jan Harvey

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