Novomatic has agreed to sell its 17.19 per cent stake in Casinos Austria to Sazka Group, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. 

Confirming the deal with a short statement on its website, Novomatic states that a binding agreement has been reached with the Czech gambling firm which is “in the best interest” of Casinos Austria to have “key and long term shareholders aligned”.

The transaction will see Sazka increase its shareholding in Casinos Austria from 38 to 55 per cent, after securing majority investment rights in the DACH region’s land-based casino operator.

Robert Chvatal, chief executive officer of the Sazka group, explained: “We believe it is the best solution for the company. We want to ensure stable positive development for CASAG in a long-term partnership of its two biggest shareholders.

“We are committed to work jointly with ÖBAG and CASAG team to achieve well-being for its customers, employees and communities we do business with. We are prepared to focus on CASAG business and bring innovations to the market.“

Novomatic confirms that it will retain an 11 per cent stake in Österreichische Lotterien, the operating firm of the Austrian Lotteries.

Harald Neumann, CEO of Novomatic, added: “The previous ownership structure has led to no satisfactory development of Casinos Austria. As the smallest major shareholder, we have therefore decided to sell our CASAG shares in order to allow CASAG a clear ownership structure. 

“It is important to enable a stable and sustainable shareholder structure that secures the company in the long term for the future challenges of national and global markets”.

Novomatic recently revealed that it has opened its third casino operation in the autonomous community of Andalusia in Spain after months on “intensive” renovation.

The firm now operates three casinos in the South of Spain with Casino Admiral Granada joining Casino Admiral San Roque, the company’s first acquisition in the region and Casino Admiral Sevilla, which opened its doors earlier this year.