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FRANKFURT/VIENNA, March 8 The private owners of Austrian gaming technology group Novomatic are exploring an initial public offering that could value the company at more than 6 billion euros ($6.3 billion), three sources familiar with the matter said.
The listing of the maker of gaming equipment and casino management systems would most likely take place in London, one of the people said.
Novomatic's owners last week sent out a renewed request to banks to pitch for roles in the listing, which could take place as early as later this year.
Novomatic, owned by the family of its billionaire founder Johann Graf, had revenues of 3.9 billion euros in 2015. It reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 287 million euros in the first half of last year and employs around 28,000 people in around 50 countries.
While software and technology focused peers trade at up to 15 times their expected core profit, Novomatic is more likely to fetch a multiple of roughly 10 times, given that its core business is less profitable physical gambling machines, the people said.
A sale of a minority stake to a private equity group is also a possibility that Novomatic's family owners are considering, they said, adding that Asian gambling groups would also be likely to show interest in the company.
Gambling and betting companies have attracted private equity in the past. Last year buyout group CVC bought Germany's sport betting group Tipico.
"We have been active with bonds in the capital market for many years and evaluate different financing options on the capital market. There are currently no concrete decisions regarding other financing projects," a Novomatic spokesman said.
Bloomberg earlier on Wednesday reported that the company is considering a stock market listing. ($1 = 0.9485 euros) (Reporting By Arno Schuetze; Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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