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Italian Court Backs Sisal, Annuls Scratch Card Tender

23rd November 2009 9:04 am GMT

An Italian court has granted the challenge filed by Sisal S.p.A against the contract terms for the new Italian scratch card concession, agreeing to annul the tender in which incumbent Lottomatica was the only participant as part of a consortium including Scientific Games Corporation.

Sisal had filed a court appeal to annul the nine-year tender and its terms which included an €800 million upfront payment to be shared between winning concession holders.

The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio granted Sisal's challenge Friday, annulling the tender for the Italian Gratta & Vinci scratchcard concessions for which Consorzio Lotterie Nazionali, 63% owned by Lottomatica, had been the sole participant. Lottomatica rivals Snai and Intralot had already withdrawn from the tender last month after also criticizing the terms of the concession.

Lottomatica said that its consortium was awaiting the decision of Italy's regulatory authority, Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS), as to whether an appeal would be filed to the Italian Supreme Court.

Last month Lottomatica announced it would undertake a share capital increase of up to €350 million by the end of the year to support its renewal of the Italian scratch card concession, which was approved by the company's shareholders last Friday. Assuming a one concessionnaire scenario, Lottomatica was due to pay €315 million this month and a further €189 million in November 2010, representing 63% of the required upfront fee.

Lottomatica's current concession expires next May.

Shares in Lottomatica Group (Co. Profile) (MIB:LTO) fell by nearly 5% Friday following the announcement and are currently trading at €13.73 per share in Milan this morning.

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