Czech PE’s split SAZKA European gambling assets

Czech private equity firms KKCG and EMMA Capital have confirmed that they will move to split the ownership of assets in pan-European betting and lottery operator SAZKA Group.

SAZKA is the Czech national lottery operator, which holds majority/significant holdings in European operators – OPAP Greece (33%), Casinos Austria (30%), LOTTOITALIA (33%) and SuperSport Croatia (67%).

Agreeing on undisclosed terms, the KKCG fund operated by financier Karel Komarek Jr will take control of SZAKA’s Czech lottery unit, as well as the firm’s stakes in OPAP, Casinos Austria and LOTTOITALIA.

Meanwhile, EMMA Capital controlled by Jiri Smejc will be rewarded with a € multi-million payout of SAZKA shares, and will further gain majority control of SuperSport Croatia.

The PE firms chose not to disclose any rationale for the transaction, simply stating that the split of assets was currently being reviewed by Prague market regulators and regional competition authorities.

Last November, KKCG and EMMA Capital disclosed that they were reviewing all future options with regards to SAZKA, appointing Citibank and Cazenove to asses potentially listing onto the London Stock Exchange.

KKCG confirmed to Reuters International, that a future IPO remained an option dependent on ‘market conditions and other factors’.

To date, Sazka’s multi-market presence has seen the lottery operator record wagers of + €16 billion, servicing 62,000 sales points within Czech Rep, Italy, Austria and Cyprus.

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