Austria-based gaming equipment maker Novomatic AG has made binding offers for two equity stakes in partially state-owned Casinos Austria AG. The privately-held Novomatic confirmed the move in an announcement.
Casinos Austria, founded in 1967, is the operator of Austria’s 12 casinos according to its official website.
The Novomatic offers for Casinos Austria shares are to: MTB Privatstiftung for its 16.8-percent of shares in Casinos Austria; as well as to the entity Leipnik-Lundenburger Invest Beteiligungs AG (known as LLI) for its 29.6 percent of shares in another entity called MEDIAL Beteiligungs GmbH. Novamatic said the latter holding equated to an indirect equity stake of 11.34 percent in Casinos Austria.
“The offers were accepted both by the MTB Privatstiftung as well as by the LLI. The conclusion of both transactions remains subject to various permissions governed by public law as well as by company law and to formal approval requirements,” said Novomatic.
“By means of these transactions we will be able to contribute as a solid Austrian partner with international expertise and become a part of a sustained shareholding structure of Casinos Austria,” stated Novomatic’s chief executive Harald Neumann.
The company said that if any further shares should be offered in Casinos Austria “at an acceptable price” then Novomatic would also be interested in acquiring them. Novomatic added that the parties in the current share deal had “agreed not to disclose any purchase price”.
Novomatic sells gaming equipment in Asia Pacific markets, including the Philippines.
Casinos Austria International Holding GmbH – the international activities unit of Casinos Austria and founded in 1977 – has interests in overseas casinos in Australia, Canada, Egypt, the Palestinian National Authority city of Jericho, Switzerland and a number of European Union countries; and also operates some casino cruise ships.
Until December, Casinos Austria International was the majority owner of Casino Canberra in the Australian federal capital Canberra. Its interest was bought out that month by Hong Kong businessman Tony Fung Wing Cheung’s Aquis Group for AUD6 million (US$4.9 million).
Mr Fung – who wants to build a multibillion-dollar casino venue near Cairns, Queensland, Australia, to be called Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort – has also made a bid to acquire the Reef Casino Trust, which owns the Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns, a property operated by Casinos Austria International, according to the latter’s website. The AUD216.86-million Reef Casino Trust deal however reportedly collapsed after a deadline was missed in November.
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