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Germany – Race to own Westspiel Group now down to three companies

By - 12 March 2021

The sale of the state-owned gaming group Westspiel is now down to three bidders who will now put forward their specific offers, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The Europe-wide procurement procedure for the sale of the company shares in the WestSpiel Group was launched on December 18 under the management of Warth & Klein Grant Thornton AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft who is acting as transaction advisor.

According to the finance committee of the state parliament, there is no minimum sale price. For the period of the concession until 2035, the state government expects gross gaming revenue of €3.1bn.

The Ministry of Finance says the actual profit of the casinos will depend on the future owner and whether more casinos are opened. The state approved a privatisation bill that would allow an option for two completely new licences.

As a state-licensed casino operator, the WestSpiel Group currently has 900 employees. The six casinos in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, owned by Westspiel, were profitable for the first time in five years in 2019.

The casinos in Aachen, Bad Oeynhausen, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Dortmund and Duisburg rose by a good quarter compared to 2018 to around €117m, according to the consolidated financial statements of Westspiel for 2019, which NRW finance minister Lutz Lienenkämper (CDU) published before the meeting of the budget committee of the state parliament.

Westspiel achieved a consolidated net profit of almost €3.2m, according to the consolidated financial statements. In the previous year, this position was down by around €3.6m. The casino taxes to the public sector rose by around 13 per cent to almost €59m.

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