Slot Machine Firm Gambles on IPO

80784028 Novomatic
Taking a chance? Source: Novomatic

Nestled away in a winegrowing region in the woods surrounding Vienna is one of Austria’s fastest growing companies. Novomatic operates casinos, gaming machines and online betting and is among the fastest-growing companies in Austria.

The firm, present in 80 countries around the world, is now gearing up to go public, possibly in the second part of the year.

The move could generate €1.5 billion, or $1.6 billion, but Novomatic won’t finalize its plans until summer and when approached, declined to provide further information. A spokesperson said: “We have been active with bonds on the capital market for years and have diversified capital market financing. At the moment, there are no concrete decisions on additional financing projects.”

The Austrian group, with 29,000 employees, is worth €6 billion, according to Bloomberg’s estimates.

Much remains unclear about the IPO. The release will be guided by Bank of America and Credit Suisse, and is slated for Frankfurt and possibly also Vienna, according to informed sources. No information is available about how the trading of Novomatic stocks will be distributed following the flotation, but Frankfurt is likely to be the main focus with Vienna the “downstream trading platform.”

Vienna, though, is fighting for more. Keen to cut departures, a team from the Vienna Stock Exchange is in contact with Novomatic. “The best place for Austrian companies is the Vienna Stock Exchange, because they get the greatest attention there and they’re also listed in our leading index,” an exchange spokesperson told Handelsblatt. It would be the country’s highest profile IPO in a decade.

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