Novomatic AG has agreed to sell its 17% stake in Casinos Austria to Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA Group.
Issuing a short statement, Novomatic confirms that it has reached a binding agreement with SAZKA dependent on regulatory approvals.
The transaction will see SAZKA increase its shareholding in Casinos Austria to 55% (formerly 38%), after securing majority investment rights in the leading DACH region land-based casino operator.
Novomatic confirms that it will retain an 11% stake in Österreichische Lotterien, the operating firm of the ‘Austrian Lotteries’, in which it will retain its representation within the Casinos Austria subsidiary’s board.
Harald Neumann, CEO of Novomatic AG, said: “The previous ownership structure has not led to any satisfactory development of Casinos Austria, and as the smallest major shareholder, we have decided to sell our shares in order to give Casinos Austria a clear and sustainable strategy so that the company can meet the long-term challenges of the national and international markets is prepared for global markets.”
The transaction sees SAZKA group maintain its M&A momentum, having restructured its ownership frameworks this summer. Led by a new investment team, SAZKA increased its shareholding in Greek lottery operator OPAP to 40%, as the company eyes further European gambling investment opportunities.
Robert Chvatal, CEO of SAZKA Group, added: “We are convinced that this is the best solution for the company. We want to secure CASAG stable positive development in a long-term partnership between its two largest shareholders.
“We are committed to working together with ÖBAG and the CASAG team to ensure sustainable development for the benefit of our customers, employees and business partners. We are prepared to focus on CASAG’s core business and bring innovation to market. “