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Betting floats popular in Europe too

After the long-awaited confirmation of the Betfair float, an eastern European operator has decided to follow suit. Czech betting agency Fortuna has announced plans to list on the Prague and Warsaw stock exchanges. The company's main territories are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, with a heavy emphasis on retail.

Czech Fortuna IPO planned by end-October

Czech betting agency Fortuna plans to float shares on the Prague and Warsaw stock exchanges by the end of October, two sources with knowledge of the deal said on Friday.

"The decision has been made this week. The firm's intention is to complete the listing by October," one of the sources said.

The initial public offering (IPO) should be announced in the middle of next week, with a prospectus to follow in the coming weeks.

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Polish media reported in January that Fortuna, owned by Czech and Slovak financial group Penta Investments, planned to raise €100 million from an IPO.

UniCredit and Erste Group Bank are running the flotation, which will be the first in Prague since 2008.

Fortuna is active in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. The group reported an 11% rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to €11.61 million in the first half of the year.



Could this IPO be more successful than the Betfair float, at least in terms of upside for investors? Other reports have stated that 35% of the company will be available. With a strong base in eastern Europe, perhaps it could become a target for a bigger firm wishing to expand into those regions.

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