Sazka Group and Austria-based NOVOMATIC Form Partnership. The goal of the long-term strategic partnership is to promote the business growth of Casinos Austria.

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26 Feb 2016

Vienna, 26 February 2016 – NOVOMATIC, Europe's leading gaming technology group, and Sazka Group, which represents the investment groups KKCG and EMMA CAPITAL, have formed a long-term partnership in which they will operate on an equal basis. The two partners will establish a joint venture using their recently acquired shares in Casinos Austria (CASAG) and Austrian Lotteries.

Aiming to provide CASAG and Austrian Lotteries with stability and strong backing, NOVOMATIC and Sazka Group will work together with other shareholders in putting into use their extensive gaming industry experience to further develop the business of CASAG and Austrian Lotteries. The partnership has been forged following the Austrian finance minister's suggestion that NOVOMATIC and the Sazka Group settle their past disputes to the benefit of CASAG and its shareholders, including the Austrian state.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with such a strong partner as Novomatic and believe that the new partnership will bring future prosperity to CASAG,” said the Sazka Group's Chief Investment Officer Štěpán Dlouhý. "We have always emphasized our interest in the sustainable development of CASAG's lottery and gaming business in the framework of our collaboration with Austrian partners, where responsible gaming and corporate social responsibility are of paramount importance," he added.

In commenting on the transaction, NOVOMATIC's CEO Harald Neumann said, "This is the first essential step towards creating a transparent shareholder structure at Casinos Austria and making the company ready for future challenges on both the domestic and global markets. It is important that we find common ground with all other shareholders."

One of the main goals at the present time is to settle as fast as possible existing legal disputes and rights of first refusal between Sazka Group, MTB Privatstiftung, and Medial Beteiligungs GmbH, so that an efficient and stable shareholder structure can be rapidly established.

After obtaining approvals from antitrust and regulatory authorities, NOVOMATIC and Sazka Group plan to set up a joint venture to which they will invest their ownership interests in CASAG and in which the two partners will have an equal position and will be able to put into use their respective expertise to the benefit of the future growth of CASAG's business.

About NOVOMATIC and the Sazka Group:
NOVOMATIC is a member of the NOVOMATIC Group, one of the largest international gaming groups that specializes in the manufacture and operation of gaming technologies. Established by industrialist Johann F. Graf in 1980, the NOVOMATIC Group operates in 50 countries worldwide and supplies innovative gaming equipment, system solutions, lottery solutions, and services to customers in 80 countries. NOVOMATIC has two Switzerland-based sister holding companies, ACE Casino Holding AG and Gryphon Invest AG, also founded by Johann F. Graf. In 2014, the NOVOMATIC Group together with ACE Casino Holding AG and Gryphon Invest AG recorded aggregate non-consolidated revenues of approximately EUR 3.8 billion and had approximately 23,000 employees in various parts of the world.

The Sazka Group is a company that will own all gaming and lottery companies currently held by KKCG and EMMA CAPITAL. The Sazka Group will be owned jointly by KKCG and EMMA CAPITAL, the two largest shareholders of OPAP (through the Emma Delta investment fund). One of Europe's largest gaming and lottery companies, OPAP is traded on the Athens Stock Exchange, and its revenues in 2014 amounted to over 4.2 billion euros. The KKCG Group also owns SAZKA, the fastest growing lottery company in Europe.

Casinos Austria AG is a leading national and international gaming corporation that operates in numerous Austrian regions as well as in other countries. Its consolidated revenues in 2014 were in excess of 3.6 billion euros.

KKCG is an international investment group with more than 3,000 employees and approximately EUR 1.6 billion in assets under its management. KKCG specializes in long-term strategic investments in such sectors as lotteries and entertainment, crude oil and natural gas production, technology, tourism, real estate, mechanical engineering, and others. KKCG operates in 10 countries worldwide.

EMMA CAPITAL is an investment group established in 2012 at the initiative of its majority shareholder Jiří Šmejc. EMMA CAPITAL specializes in strategic investments, where it mainly focuses on the retail business. The usual strategy followed by companies associated under EMMA CAPITAL consists of active involvement in the management of companies in which the group invests. EMMA CAPITAL currently conducts business in the Czech Republic, Greece, Russia, and Slovakia. In addition, EMMA CAPITAL owns a 13.37% stake in the Home Credit Group, a leading international provider of consumer credit.

Dana Dvořáková
Communication Director, KKCG, a.s.
Vinohradská 230
Prague 10
Tel.: +420 602 372 834

Pavel Zuna
Head of Investor & Public Relations
Emerging Markets Capital, a.s.
Thákurova 531/4, 160 00 Prague 6, Czech Republic
Tel.: +420 226 291 600, M: +420 602 475 698

Stefan Krenn
Wiener Strasse 158
2352 Gumpoldskirchen
Tel.: +43 2252 606 870 581