Austrian gaming technology supplier Novomatic AG says it has reached an agreement to sell its 17.19-percent stake in casino operator Casinos Austria AG, to SAZKA Group. The latter’s corporate website describes it as a pan-European lottery and sports betting operator.
The deal, announced in a press release issued on Tuesday, is “subject to certain conditions precedent including regulatory approvals and rights of other Casinos Austria shareholders,” Novomatic stated.
No financial details of the operation were included in the press release.
Casinos Austria operates a network of 12 casinos in Austria, according to its corporate website. The firm claims consumers make three million visits to its properties each year.
Novomatic said in the same announcement that it would keep its 11-percent stake in Austrian lottery operator Österreichische Lotterien GmbH. The latter is majority-owned by Casinos Austria.
The Novomatic press release quoted company chief executive Harald Neumann as saying that the previous ownership structure of Casinos Austria had “led to no satisfactory development” for the firm.
According to information included in Österreichische Lotterien’s 2018 annual report, Casinos Austria’s main shareholders include: Medial Beteiligungs-GmbH, with a 38.3-percent stake; Austrian state holding company ÖBIB Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungen GmbH, with 33.2 percent; and Novomatic AG.
Mr Neumann was also quoted as saying in his prepared comments: “As the smallest major shareholder, we have therefore decided to sell our Casinos Austria shares in order to allow Casinos Austria a clear ownership structure. It is important to enable a stable and sustainable shareholder structure that secures the company in the long term for the future challenges of national and global markets”.
The press release also quoted the chief executive of SAZKA Group, Robert Chvatal as stating: “We want to ensure stable positive development for Casinos Austria in a long-term partnership of its two biggest shareholders.”
SAZKA Group controls Medial Beteiligungs-GmbH, according to media reports.
The Novomatic group has continued its marketing push into the Asian region in recent years. Novomatic displayed products at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia exhibition in Macau last May, including a new range of games with themes it hopes will appeal to Asian customers.
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”We are also proactively monitoring and managing potential supply chain impacts. At this stage we do not foresee any material adverse impacts [from Covid-19] on our business”
Chief executive of slot machine maker Aristocrat Leisure