Sazka Group considers London IPO

Sazka Group considers London IPO

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 Posted by Michael Lawson
The Czech-based lottery firm has grown into one of the largest in Europe over recent years

Sazka Group, one of Europe’s largest lottery and gaming operators, is considering an initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

The Czech-based group has hired Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Cazenove and Morgan Stanley as joint global coordinators, but is yet to confirm the decision.

Sazka Group CEO Robert Chvatal said: “Lotteries are in our DNA in all five countries where we operate.

“We believe in future growth via product innovations, customer experience in online as well as, when available, via further geographical expansion. We are evaluating several options to support our growth, including an initial public offering.’’

To date, Sazka’s multi-market presence has seen the lottery operator take in bets worth over €16 billion (14.34 million), servicing 62,000 sales points within Czech Rep, Italy, Austria and Cyprus.

In 2016, it bought a 32.5% stake in Lottoitalia, a joint venture with then Italian lottery monopoly Lottomatica.

It also has a 72% stake in a fund with a controlling 33% stake in Greek betting firm OPAP, acquired in Greece’s first major privatisation in 2013 under an international bailout deal.

Owned by Czech investors Karel Komarek’s KKCG group and Jiri Smejc’s EMMA Capital, Sazka Group was derived from the former Czech lottery monopoly Sazka. Smejc’s EMMA holds 25 percent of the Sazka Group and KKCG the rest.

Chvatal and Sazka governance noted that the operator will seek to launch in new European markets, strengthening its commercial pipeline.

Totally Gaming says: An initial public offering would be a massive step for Sazka Group, but the Czech-based firm has been expanding at a considerable rate. Perhaps this decision is the next step and will see Sazka grow into one of the world leaders in lottery and sports betting.

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