William Malcolm

Sazka Group Lands €500M Investment From Apollo

Apollo Global Management will invest EUR 500 million in the newly formed company Sazka Entertainment. The investment is for acquisition and merger opportunities in the gaming business in Europe and the USA. As a subsidiary of the KKCG group of entrepreneur Karel Komárek, Sazka Entertainment will become the 100% owner of Sazka Group from the KKCG group after the completion of the transaction.

“The bulk of the € 500 million Apollo fund investment will be used to capitalize acquisitions and growth opportunities in Europe and North America with a focus on lotteries,” the company said. The equity of Sazka Entertainment will amount to EUR 4.2 billion after the transaction. Completion of the transaction, which is expected in 2021, is subject to regulatory approval.

“This investment and strategic partnership fulfills our long-term plans for expansion,” said Komárek. According to him, Sazka can become a global player in the gaming industry. In addition to Europe and the USA, the company’s investments in lotteries and other gaming business may also go to other regions, he added.

Sazka Group wholly owns the Czech company Sazka and has stakes in other European betting companies. In June, it became the majority owner of the Austrian lottery company Casinos Austria, increasing its stake in it to 55.48 percent. Sazka Group also owns 40 percent in Greece’s largest betting company OPAP and 32.5 percent in Italy’s LottoItalia.

In the autumn, Sazka Group announced that it was applying for a license to operate the British national lottery. The British businessman Keith Mills became the chairman of the British selection team, who played a key role in the fact that London won the hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Last year, Sazka Group increased its net profit by 35 percent year-on-year to EUR 311 million. Gross revenues from accepted bets increased by six percent to 1.91 billion euros. In the first half of this year, the group’s net profit fell by 71 percent year-on-year to 42 million euros.

Apollo Global Management has offices in the USA, Europe, and Asia. This year, it managed approximately $ 433 billion in capital in the funds at the end of September. The investment company KKCG has business activities in 19 countries around the world. Its key fields include energy, IT technology, and real estate, together with lotteries. The book value of KKCG exceeds six billion euros.