OPAP to restructure, eyeing expansion abroad

Europe’s biggest betting firm OPAP will complete the restructuring of its operations in the next six months as it eyes expansion opportunities abroad, its CEO Christos Hadjiemmanuil said yesterday. The CEO said the new organizational structure will aim at improving efficiency and seeking growth opportunities, both domestically and abroad. «We are creating a company that will focus on its agencies,» Hadjiemmanuil said. The subsidiary, OPAP Services, will be given the task of developing the group’s network, numbering some 5,500 agencies. OPAP will reduce the size of its network as part of obligations to the European Commission but gave no information on the expected size of the cut. Gradually OPAP needs to reduce the number of agencies to one for every 3,500 people in each geographic area, said Hadjiemmanuil. OPAP, 34 percent held by the state, is Greece’s seventh-largest firm in terms of market capitalization, valued at some 7.3 billion euros. The group, also present in Cyprus, has expressed interest in expanding abroad and in the privatization of Turkey’s national lottery Milli Piyango. «We are testing our international experience with Cyprus,» said Hadjiemmanuil.