No rivals for Intralot as it bags racing bet permit

By Vangelis Mandravelis

Intralot confirmed previous reports on Thursday by appearing as the sole bidder in a tender for the license to operate Greek horse-race betting held by state privatization fund TAIPED.

French company PMU firmly withdrew interest, despite systematic attempts to cooperate with or even buy out state-owned Horse Racing Organization (ODIE) since 2008. PMU, the world’s premiere horse-racing organizer in the world, had entered the first stage of the tender but decided to pull out the day before the final deadline.

PMU had also been the first company to express its interest in the process for the operation of horse-race betting in Greece in association with South Africa’s Phumelela.

Intralot has tabled its offer in cooperation with the Argentinean horse-race organization, given that the Athens-listed company has no experience in organizing horse races.

Investment firm Global Family Partners sent a letter to TAIPED yesterday expressing an interest in the permit and pledging to invest 40 million euros toward the development of Greek horse racing, but the late newcomer was rejected as it had not adhered to proper procedure.

TAIPED is also proceeding with the sale of five state properties abroad – two in the USA (New York and Washington), one in South Africa (Pretoria), another in Slovenia (Ljubljana) and the last in Serbia (Belgrade).

The tender will be held in just one stage with a deadline for offers set on October 3. TAIPED aims at announcing its preferred bidders by November 5.