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Clifford Chance advises Sazka Group and Italian Gaming Holding in a consortium bid for Italy's national lottery business

16 May 2016

Clifford Chance advises Sazka Group and Italian Gaming Holding in a consortium bid for Italy's national lottery business

Clifford Chance's Prague, Milan, Rome, Warsaw and London offices combined to advise the Sazka Group and Italian Gaming Holding, subsidiaries of Czech lottery operator SAZKA and investment company EMMA CAPITAL, on their successful consortium bid in the lottery concession tender process in Italy and related bank financing. The other consortium members include Lottomatica S.p.A., a subsidiary of International Game Technology PLC, Novomatic Italia S.p.A., and Arianna 2001 S.p.A.

The consortium offered EUR 770 million for a nine-year licence to operate Lotto, the operator of the Italian national lottery business, and further pledged to invest in the renewal of the company's technology infrastructure.

“Lotteries and gaming are key pillars of our business. This step fully conforms to the strategy pursued by SAZKA Group a.s., whereby we aim to build a large diversified European group that specialises in gaming," explained SAZKA Group’s Investment Director Štěpán Dlouhý.

The cross-border Clifford Chance team that advised on the investment and its financing was coordinated by the Prague office and composed of David Koláček (partner, Prague), Umberto Penco Salvi (partner, Milan), Miloš Felgr (partner, Prague), Luciano Di Via (partner, Rome), Nick Fletcher (Of Counsel, Warsaw), Rafal Zakrzewski (counsel, Warsaw), Filippo Degni (counsel, Rome), Ivana Magistrelli (senior associate, Milan), Giuseppe De Cola (associate, Milan), Marian Husár (associate, Prague), Paul Simon Falzini (associate, Rome), André Duminy (partner, London), and Richard Jones (senior associate, London).

On the closing of the transaction, lead partner David Koláček commented: "We are proud to have had another opportunity to work on an exciting outbound investment project with our valued clients KKCG and EMMA CAPITAL that demonstrates that the increasingly significant Czech investment groups are key players on the European stage. On the legal side, it was satisfying not only to be involved in the successful mobilisation of such a talented cross-border team but also to have had the opportunity to consolidate our expertise in the gaming and leisure industry and confirm our track-record as leaders in the local and regional market."

Clifford Chance has already advised KKCG and EMMA CAPITAL on a number of investments in the gaming sector, including most recently their joint bid with the Austrian lottery company Novomatic for Casinos Austria as well as cooperating on their investment in the Greek national lottery operator OPAP and on KKCG's take-over of SAKZA, the largest lottery and betting company in the Czech Republic.