Czech lottery giant Sazka Group has announced that it is to move forward with a plan to acquire an additional 23.04% stake in Vienna-based casino operator Casinos Austria AG after last week receiving the necessary regulatory approvals from gaming authorities in Australia, Austria, Switzerland and Canada.
Prague-headquartered Sazka Group explained that it purchased an 11% stake in Casinos Austria AG a year ago via its Came Holding GmbH subsidiary before stating that the latest authorizations represent the ‘successful completion of one year of intensive work with gaming, anti-trust and other competent authorities’.
Sazka Group declared that it now intends to use a January 15 shareholders meeting in order to ask for permission to officially acquire the additional Casinos Austria AG stake from current investors Uniqa Beteiligungs-Holding GmbH and Leipnik-Lundenburg Invest Beteiligungs AG and take its total shareholding in the firm up to 34.04%.
“In our role as the largest strategic shareholder in the future, we want to continue the path of successful cooperation with all other shareholders and secure the long-term economic success of the company,” read a statement (pdf) from Robert Chvatal, Chief Executive Officer for Sazka Group.
Should the acquisition subsequently be approved, Sazka Group proclaimed that it will become the largest shareholder in Casinos Austria AG just ahead of the Austrian state courtesy of a 33.24% stake while European gaming equipment giant Novomatic is to maintain its own 17.2% holding.
Casinos Austria AG currently operates 27 land-based casinos in eleven jurisdictions around the world including The Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns, Australia, and Canada’s Great Blue Heron Charity Casino. The firm moreover offers gaming on five luxury cruise ships operated by Monaco-based Silversea Cruises and saw its profit for 2016 swell by 49% year-on-year to reach $180.58 million off of record annual revenues of $4.68 billion.