Friday May 10,2013 : LOTTOMATICA OPTED OUT OF OPAP BID BUT INVESTS IN WINNING BIDDER (Update)
 
Italian lotto giant takes a minority stake in Emma Delta
 
The giant lottery and gaming giant Gruppo Lottomatica SpA, which earlier in the bidding process backed out of acquiring Greece's OPAP gambling monopoly, has confirmed that it has purchased a minority stake in Emma Delta, the sole surviving bidder that won the tender for the Greek government's 33 percent stake in the company.
 
In July last year OPAP selected Rome-based Lottomatica to provide it with technological support for its expansion into online betting. It went on to enter a bid for the privatising OPAP, allying itself with Scientific Games, only to withdraw before the sale process was complete.
 
Emma Delta, a consortium controlled by Czech investor Jiri Smejc along with George Melisanidis, scion of a Greek shipping family, ended up the sole bidder for the deal.
 
After some haggling over price, Emma Delta has agreed to pay the Greek state Euro 652 million in instalments for the rights to operate 13 games of chance on an exclusive basis until 2030 in addition to a ten-year authorisation for the running of the nation’s 35,000 video lottery terminals.
 
“As an industrial partner, Lottomatica Group expects to provide expertise in the areas of technology, operations, and the launch of new products,” read a statement from Lottomatica to its shareholders this week.
 
The announcement was made as part of the Italian firm’s annual shareholders meeting, which also saw it receive approvals to change its name to GTech SpA from June 3.