European lottery and gaming operator SAZKA Group has increased its ownership of Greek lottery operator OPAP to approximately 40 per cent through a voluntary tender offer.

SAZKA announced its intention to acquire full control of OPAP in July with a €9.12 per share bid for the approximately 67 per cent shareholding in the business which it did not own.

On October 1st the company launched a voluntary tender offer for the OPAP shares after receiving approval from the Hellenic Capital Markets Commission (HCMC), with the tender period closing on October 29th.

The offer was accepted by shareholders representing 7.25 per cent of the total paid-up share capital of OPAP (including treasury shares), or approximately 7.29 per cent of the total paid-up share capital excluding treasury shares.

Following completion, SAZKA will hold 128,593,179 OPAP shares, equal to approximately 40.21 per cent of the paid-up capital of the business, excluding treasury shares.

“We are pleased to have been able to substantially increase our shareholding in OPAP through the tender offer,” said Karel Komarek, chairman of SAZKA Group.

“Our ultimate goal is to over time acquire a majority ownership stake in OPAP. We look forward to being co-investors with those shareholders who did not tender their shares and we are pleased that they have chosen to stay with us as we work to ensure that OPAP continues to deliver on its exciting strategy.”

Shares in OPAP SA (ATH:OPAP) closed in Athens Thursday at €9.75 per share.