The establishment of the joint venture will merge all lottery and gaming assets of the two financial groups, including shares in the largest Greek lottery company OPAP, the Italian company LOTTOITALIA, the Austria-based Casinos Austria and Österreichische Lotterien, as well as a 100% ownership interest in the Czech-based SAZKA a.s. Owned by Karel Komárek and Jiří Šmejc, KKCG and EMMA Capital will hold a 75% and 25% share in the SAZKA Group, respectively. The two groups have also agreed that each of them will be equally responsible for the management and oversight of the SAZKA Group.
The transaction marks the end of negotiations between the two corporations, which have resulted in the establishment of the largest group specializing in numerical lotteries in Europe. The aggregate annual amount of bets placed with companies in which the SAZKA Group owns an ownership interest are in excess of 15 billion euros and the aggregate EBITDA amounts to over 850 million euros.
"Together with our partner, we are committed to building the largest lottery and gaming operator in Europe. Moreover, our joint strategy is to promote the growth of companies currently owned by the SAZKA Group and to continue expanding into other parts of the world, both in Europe and beyond. We are on the lookout for opportunities for further acquisitions," said Karel Komárek.
"For the EMMA Group, the transaction is a logical continuation of the path on which we embarked in 2013, when we took part in the establishment of the consortium that won the competition for the privatization of a 33% share in OPAP. Our involvement in the SAZKA Group is consistent with EMMA's focus on the retail sector, and it builds on the highly prosperous partnership we have had with KKCG," added Jiří Šmejc.
All shares in the concerned companies will be automatically transferred to the SAZKA Group as of 17 August 2016. The only exception is the management of EMMA Delta, the fund that oversees shares in OPAP, which will only pass on to the SAZKA Group after the transaction is approved by regulatory authorities in Greece and Cyprus.
SAZKA Group a.s. is a joint venture of KKCG and EMMA Capital intended to aggregate the two groups' lottery and gaming investments. KKCG and EMMA Capital are the largest investors in EMMA Delta, a fund holding a 33% stake in the Greek lottery OPAP. The SAZKA Group owns an 11.4% share in Casinos Austria, where a transaction is under way that will increase the group's stake in this Austria-based corporation to 51% in a consortium with the NOVOMATIC corporation. In addition, the SAZKA Group owns a 100% share in the Czech lottery company SAZKA a.s. and holds, through the Italian Gaming Holding, a 32.5% stake in LOTTOITALIA, a company that has been awarded a license to operate the Italian lottery Lotto.