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Greece's Intralot asks court to block horse race betting sale
October 1, 2014 / 8:33 PM / 3 years ago

Greece's Intralot asks court to block horse race betting sale

ATHENS, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Greece’s gaming systems supplier Intralot has asked the country’s top administrative court to block the sale of the sole Greek horse race betting licence to betting firm OPAP, court officials said on Wednesday.

The sale is part of a privatisation plan agreed with international lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund under a 240 billion euro bailout.

Intralot was the sole bidder for a 20-year licence to take wagers on horse races, offering 5.25 million euros in July. After asking for an improved offer in August, the country’s privatisation agency (HRADF) scrapped the tender saying the bid was unsatisfactory and relaunched it in September.

OPAP, one of Europe’s biggest betting firms based on revenues, offered 40.5 million euros for the license in the second tender, outbidding Intralot, its only rival.

Intralot has filed restraining orders against the privatisation agency over its decisions related to the sale, a court official said on condition of anonymity. The company cited violation of transparency rules, fair competition and equal treatment, the official said.

HRADF declined to comment. Intralot was not immediately available for comment.

The court is expected to hear the case by mid-October.

Greece has repeatedly missed privatisation targets due to a lack of investor appetite and regulatory snags. It wants to raise 22 billion euros by 2020 and is aiming for 1.5 billion from state divestments this year, down from an initial target of 3.6 billion euros. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Writing by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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