Czech Based Sazka Group Eyes Global Expansion after Investment

Czech lottery and betting giant, Sazka Group is gearing up for a worldwide expansion. This comes after Sazka Group received a half-billion-euro investment from a US private equity group.

On Tuesday, Sazka announced that funds managed by Apollo Global Management agreed to invest €500mn in Sazka Entertainment AG. A new subsidiary Sazka’s majority owner Karel Komarek’s KKCG Group. Now, after the deal, Sazka Entertainment Group would become 100% owner of the Sazka Group.

The parties declared that the bulk of the €500 investment would go towards acquisition and growth opportunities in Europe and North America with a focus on Lotteries. The deal is expected to be closed next year, considering regulatory approval.

Komarek announced that the deal came after a series of discussions with major investment funds from the world and has positioned Sazka for global expansion.

James Kim, Apollo Partner, and European Co-Head of Hybrid Value said that the track record of Sazka is outstanding.
Apollo came close to acquire William Hills before losing the bid to Caesars Entertainment.

Half-Year Revenue

Sazka reported revenue of €652mn for the six months ending on June 30, a 28.2% decline from last year due to COVID19. The earnings fell by 41.7% to €167mn and operating profit slid by 56.8% to €98mn.

The revenue in Greece fell down by €271.7mn. Sazka holds a significant stake in OPAP and the video and lottery terminals were forced to shut down during the pandemic. In the Czech Republic though the revenue increased by €18.2mn on digital gaming strength.

In November and December, there would be lockdowns in Italy and Greece, further denting revenue.

UK National Lottery

Sazka has also shown interest in taking over as the operator of the UK’s National Lottery from Camelot Group. They have roped in Sir Keith Mills as the chairman of the bidding process.


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