Upon approval by the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus, OPAP Group has been given the green light to raise its interest in the Greek & Cypriot (SMGC) Stoiximan Group.
The €94.86 m deal, previously sealed with a rubber stamp by the Hellenic Competition Commission, sees the company undertake the 51% takeover of SMGC, currently run by GML Interactive.
OPAP will maintain its existing shareholding of 36.75% in TCB Holdings, which will continue to offer online betting and other online gaming facilities outside Greece and Cyprus, currently under the Betano brand in Portugal, Romania and Germany.
Stoiximan CEO George Daskalakis has explained: “Since OPAP’s initial investment 14 months ago, both Stoiximan and Betano have achieved impressive growth. This is the result of a strategic plan executed with consistency and professionalism by a team of more than 700 highly dedicated colleagues, whom I am honored to lead.
“Today, OPAP’s decision to increase its investment in Stoiximan, essentially fuels the prospects of our company in the future, but mainly constitutes a strong vote of confidence in our way of doing business.
“We embark upon this next day of creativity with the same commitment and the same determination, to work hard in order to further consolidate Stoiximan’s position as the leading operator in the Greek online gaming market, while at the same time strengthen the growth of Betano in all target international markets.”
In addition, OPAP has also agreed to buy an additional indirect 15.48 percent stake in SMGC resulting in an increase of the overall combined shareholding to 84.49 per cent subject to regulatory and competition approvals.
The estimated net amount required to be paid for all the above-mentioned transactions in the course of 2020 is €163.4 m.
Kamil Ziegler, OPAP chairman said: “The Greek online market is evolving and is gradually entering a new era, which provides for its fully regulated and supervised operation, following the adoption of relevant legislation a few months ago.
“In this framework, our strategic investment in Stoiximan Group – along with the development of our own online activities – is a significant move for OPAP, as it secures that we are properly positioned to leverage the opportunities offered by the growing online market.
“On my part, I would like to affirm that OPAP remains fully committed to implementing a comprehensive business strategy, which aims at generating sustainable growth and long-term value for our shareholders, the company itself, our agents and business partners and our people.”