A viral campaign against Sazka boss Aleš Hušák and the gambling firm’s majority shareholder, the ČSTV, is escalating. Although the movement — with its own Facebook page — seems to be a guerrilla campaign, the appearance of a full-page ad in a leading daily shows serious money is involved. Saturday’s ČSTV general meeting, however, kept Pavel Kořan — another target of the campaign — in his post.
The PPF equity group controlled by Petr Kellner is ready to take over management of the indebted lottery firm Sazka and stabilize its financial situation immediately, spokesman Milan Tománek announced Monday. The announcment comes on the heels of a dramatic step by Roman Ječmínek, the vice chairman of Sazka’s board of directors, who has submitted to a Prague court his own proposal for declaring the company bankrupt, citing its growing indebtedness.
Companies belonging to billionaires Radovan Vítek, Karel Komárek Jr. and Petr Kellner — the richest Czech — together control almost 60 percent of Sazka’s bonds. International lawyers are reported to have sent a letter notifying troubled lottery firm Sazka that they are using an option in the bonds’ fine print that allows them to demand quicker debt repayment. Sazka claims it has already met its payments and will go to court.
Sazka lacks the money to pay all the winners of its lotteries, but the interim insolvency trustee is opposed to letting the firm stop the games, as it would hurt the value of the company. Operators of lottery terminals are also starting to become concerned over their deposits. But an effort to unseat Sazka’s general director Aleš Hušák failed at the company’s EGM.
Last week, it looked like the battle over control of Sazka, the indebted leader in the Czech lottery market would get onto transparent tracks. Sazka now faces two proposals for initiating insolvency proceedings: from the billionaires Radovan Vítek and Karel Komárek Jr.
The players circling around the indebted lottery firm Sazka are upping their bids in their attempts to wrestle control of the firm. Sazka’s largest creditor Radovan Vítek on Monday presented the firm’s shareholders with his own rescue offer: an immediate payment of Kč 1 billion for a 100 percent stake in the firm. Vítek’s offer is, however, conditional upon the agreement of all shareholders.
Sazka called a press conference on Monday to announce that a deal had been reached with the investment firms Penta and E-Invest to rescue the indebted betting company. Contrary to Penta’s previous demands, the lottery firm’s boss Aleš Hušák is to keep his position at Sazka.