Eastern European investment group Penta Group Investments (Penta) has announced that it will move to buy outright the remaining shareholding of Czech-listed gambling operator Fortuna Entertainment (Fortuna).
At present, Penta holds 68.25% of the corporate equity in Fortuna through gambling investment subsidiary Fortbet. Penta management will aim to turn Fortuna into a wholly-owned private company, removing the firm from its listings on the Prague (primary) and Warsaw stock exchanges.
Publishing a market update, Penta management detailed that it wanted to undertake an ‘intensive development’ of Fortuna assets with a view to expanding the company’s presence with ‘Central and South-eastern Europe.’
Penta’s move to acquire Fortuna outright follows a tough year for the Eastern European operator in which it faced higher taxes in its core Czech Rep market, and stringent regulations within Poland.
Fortuna governance has entered 2017 pushing an M&A strategy to expand the firm’s portfolio within existing and new territories. In February the operator acquired Hattrick Sports Group gambling assets forging a presence in Croatia and Spain.
This March, further M&A activity saw Fortuna consolidate its positions within the Romanian gambling market by acquiring Fortbet’s Romanian gambling assets of Bet Active Concept SRL, Bet Zone SRL, Public Slots SRL and Slot Arena SR, making Fortuna Romania’s largest operator.
Czech news sources report that having aggressive expansion plans for Fortuna, Penta management is willing to sell assets in its investment portfolio to fund Fortuna’s ambitions.
Penta management is expected to place a tender offer this April for the remaining shareholding of Fortuna Entertainment. As yet, Fortuna governance has made no comment on the matter.