CASAG: NOVOMATIC and Sazka Group formed partnership
NOVOMATIC, Europe's leading gaming technology group, and Sazka Group a.s. (Sazka Group), which represents the investment groups KKCG and EMMA CAPITAL, have formed a long-term strategic equal partnership. The partners will bring their respective shares – already acquired or to be acquired – of Casinos Austria AG (CASAG) and Austrian Lotteries into a joint-venture company.
NOVOMATIC and Sazka Group will be strong and stable shareholders of CASAG and the Austrian Lotteries. In cooperation with other shareholders, NOVOMATIC and Sazka Group will use their vast gaming industry experience to further expand the business of CASAG and the Austrian Lotteries. This complies with the request of the Austrian Finance Minister to settle the dispute for the benefit of CASAG. The partners will now engage in discussions with other shareholders in order to align and preserve joint interests in the best possible way.
To NOVOMATIC's CEO Harald Neumann this is "the first essential step towards providing a clear shareholding structure for Casinos Austria and preparing the company for the long-term challenges of the domestic and global markets. Furthermore, it is important for us to reach a common understanding with all shareholders on the way forward."
“We are very pleased to reach an agreement with such a strong partner as NOVOMATIC and we believe that our cooperation will bring future success to CASAG. We understand the importance of CASAG for Austria,” says Štěpán Dlouhý, Investment Director of Sazka Group. “We have always stressed our intention to sustainably develop CASAG’s gaming and lottery business jointly with Austrian partners, with a paramount focus on responsible gaming and corporate social responsibility.”
The clear target is to settle as quickly as possible the existing legal disputes between Sazka Group and MTB Privatstiftung as well as Medial Beteiligungs GmbH with respect to any rights of first refusal in order to then swiftly establish an effective and sustained joint shareholding structure.
Subject to approvals from anti-trust and supervisory authorities being given, the two companies intend to establish a joint-venture company, where their shares in CASAG will be joined together, to establish an evenly leveled partnership and pool the existing know-how in the best possible way for the future development of CASAG.
About NOVOMATIC and Sazka Group
As a manufacturer and operator, NOVOMATIC Group is one of the biggest gaming technology groups worldwide and employs more than 24,000 people. Founded by industrialist Prof. Johann F. Graf in 1980, the Group is operating in more than 50 countries worldwide and supplies innovative gaming equipment, system solutions, lottery solutions and services to 80 countries. NOVOMATIC AG is part of the NOVOMATIC Group. In addition NOVOMATIC AG has two Swiss sister holding companies, which were founded by Professor Graf as well. Together with these two Swiss sister holding companies, ACE Casino Holding AG and Gryphon Invest AG, the NOVOMATIC Group achieved 2014 joint non-consolidated revenues of approximately EUR 3.8 billion.
Sazka Group is a company which is going to own all gaming assets owned by KKCG and EMMA CAPITAL. Sazka Group will be jointly owned by KKCG and EMMA CAPITAL, who are the largest shareholders in OPAP (via Emma Delta investment fund), one of the largest European gaming and lottery companies, listed on the Athens stock exchange, with 2014 revenues over EUR 4.2 billion. KKCG owns SAZKA, a leading lottery and gaming company in the Czech Republic.
KKCG is an international investment group managing approx. EUR 1.6 billion of assets and employing more than 3,000 people. KKCG is focused on long-term strategic investments in lottery & entertainment, oil & gas, technology, tourism, real estate, machinery as well as other industries. KKCG operates in 10 different countries worldwide.
EMMA CAPITAL is an investment group founded on the initiative of its major shareholder, Jiří Šmejc in 2012. It is focused on strategic investments and concentrates its activities primarily on the retail sphere; the usual strategy followed by the companies associated in the EMMA CAPITAL is an active involvement in the management of acquired companies. It is currently present on Greek, Russian, Czech and Slovak markets. It also owns a share of 13.37% in Home Credit Group – one of the world´s leaders in consumer financing.