OPAP suitor balks over privatization

The terms of the recent privatization of the state lottery seem to have developed into a bone of contention between the government and the sole candidate for the privatization of state-controlled betting firm OPAP – the majority shareholder in Hellenic Lotteries

Only days after the sale of the lottery operating rights to Hellenic Lotteries was signed, Emma Delta, the Greek-Czech consortium selected to buy 33 percent of OPAP, is reported to have threatened to back out if the commissions designated to Hellenic Lotteries’ suppliers and minority shareholders are not reduced by 50 percent.

The remuneration of Hellenic Lotteries’ suppliers and shareholders, Intralot and Scientific Games, which both bought a 16.5 percent share for 31 million euros each, has been set at 3.3 percent of the company’s annual revenues – projected at more than 300 million euros at current prices over the 12 years of the license.

The development comes despite Emma Delta officials having recently told the Financial Times that whatever happens with the privatization of the state lottery, the company will agree to the acquisition of 33 percent of OPAP as agreed with the Greek government.

According to the contract signed with Hellenic Lotteries, Intralot will provide technical support and Scientific Games will undertake the printing of the scratch lottery (Xysto).