OPAP secures Greek market clearance on Stoiximan investment

Greece’s markets & competition authority HCC has granted its approval for market leader OPAP to acquire a majority stake in online bookmaker Stoiximan Group.

The transaction initiated at the start of 2019, sees OPAP agree to acquire a 51% stake in Stoiximan for €95 million, a Greek and Cypriot online sportsbook property operated by Malta-based European online gambling group GML Interactive.

The stake will be maintained by subsidiary ‘OPAP Investments’, who will co-share ownership of Stoiximan with enterprise investors TCB Holdings.

Prior to the transaction, OPAP had maintained 37% stake in Stoiximan secured through a €50 million investment undertaken in 2018.

HCC had been forced to reviewed OPAP’s increased investment in Stoiximan, carrying out due diligence on anti-trust conditions and competition criteria as Greece seeks to implement a new gambling regulatory framework.

Seeking to complete its investment, OPAP governance will require approval from Cyprus’s Competition and Consumer Protection authority.

OPAP secures its Stoiximan approval, as the Athens-listed enterprise sees itself targeted by Czech gambling and lottery SAZKA Group who last week upped its shareholding in OPAP to 40% (formerly 33%)

This summer, Czech billionaire Karel Komarek Jr undertook full ownership of a SAZKA, underlining the group’s aggressive intent to expand its investment portfolio in tier-1 European gambling and lottery operators, facing disruptions across multiple markets.

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