BUSINESS

OPAP acquires 90 percent of Payment Hellas; TAIPED to relaunch horse race tender in Greece

TAGs: cyprus, greece, Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, horse race, Intralot, Kirby Garlitos, ODIE, OPAP, Payzone Hellas

OPAP acquires 90 percent of Payment Hellas; TAIPED to relaunch horse race tender in GreeceCyprus-based OPAP Investments Ltd, a subsidiary of Greek betting operator OPAP, announced that it has signed a deal to acquire a 90 percent stake in Payzone Hellas SA, the largest mobile phone top-up network in Greece. The preliminary agreement between OPAP Investments and Payzone Group and Coltonia Holdings was finalized after both sides agreed to a sale price of €7.75 million ($10.2 million).

News of the transaction came a day after OPAP reported a robust second-quarter core profit, thanks in large part to cost-cutting measures implemented by the company’s new management together with new with new scratch-card operations and an online sports book that raked in bets during the World Cup.

OPAP Investments’ purchase of Payzone Hellas is the latest step in the reinvention of the company, which has made it a goal to reduce its sales dependence at retail betting outlets. The Payzone Hellas network allows customers to add credit to their OPAP gambling cards using Payzone Hellas kiosks and mini-markets scattered throughout the country. These gambling cards can also be used on video lottery terminals.

Meanwhile, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) has decided to put a 20-year mutual horse betting license back on the market after failing to come to a deal with Intralot for the exclusive rights to organize and conduct mutual betting on horse races in Greece. Kathimerini reports that TAIPED rejected Intralot’s initial bid of 5.25 million euros for those rights, telling the gaming systems firm to up its bid. Intralot reportedly came back with an improved tied to future revenues that could read as much as 9 million euros but TAIPED officials determined the offer too risky and uncertain to their liking. The Greek firm is said to be considering taking legal action against TAIPED, arguing that it had matched the price set by the government to sell the license.

The Greek newspaper also said that Global Family Partners has a rumored 40 million euro offer on the table for the horse betting license, complete with a letter of guarantee that the fund received before its imposed deadline on Intralot. It’s unlikely that TAIPED has accepted those terms because the agency is reportedly set to launch the new tender in the coming days with the objective of receiving binding offers by September 23.

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