ECONOMY

Buyer of Greece’s OPAP, Emma Delta, to offer secured notes

Czech-Greek fund Emma Delta, the buyer of a majority stake in Greece’s gambling monopoly OPAP, is looking to privately place 400 million euros of senior secured notes to finance part of the purchase.

Emma Delta, an equity fund controlled by Czech investor Jiri Smejc and Greek businessman Giorgos Melissanidis, agreed in May to buy 33 percent of OPAP, one of Europe’s biggest listed betting firms, for 652 million euros.

Emma Delta is offering investors two series of notes due 2017, issued by its subsidiary Emma Delta Finance, it said late on Monday.

Officials close to the offering told Reuters last week the fund could use its own money to pay for OPAP in full, but that it was considering raising between 250 and 350 million euros through a bond to improve its return on equity.

The OPAP sale is Greece’s first major privatization and an important step in meeting a 1.6-billion-euro proceeds target for 2013 under the terms of its international bailout.

The sale is expected to close in early October after regulatory approval by the European Commission.

Emma Delta would pay 622 million euros upfront and the rest in equal annual installments over the next 10 years.

[Reuters]