he company hopes to raise up to 150 million euros through the IPO and the shares, which will be offered in the form of global depository receipts, are expected to begin trading in July. The proceeds will be used to finance new projects and expand the company’s existing casinos.
Queenco Leisure operates and manages two of Greece’s nine licensed casinos. The first, Club Hotel Casino Loutraki, is located around 80 kilometres outside of Athens and is believed by the company to be Greek biggest casino by drop and win, attracting nearly a million gamblers each year. The second is Casino Rodos, the only casino on the island of Rhodes.
In addition, Queenco Leisure plans to expand into Romania, having entered into an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in Casino Palace, located in the centre of Bucharest. That transaction is anticipated to complete prior to admission.
As at March 31, the company operated around 1,300 slot machines and 105 gaming tables, and employed 2,030 people. Upon completion of the Casino Palace acquisition, it will operate 1,400 slot machines, 130 gaming tables, and employ 2,470 staff.
Queenco Leisure is planning to use its operations in Greece and Romania as a base from which to expand its casino portfolio in emerging markets, where it says it has an attractive pipeline of investment prospects, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe.
The company believes the growth in licensed gaming in emerging markets has provided an opportunity in which it is "ideally positioned to capitalise". It is targeting markets with a "well regulated or soon to be regulated gaming industry", markets "with potential for licence exclusivity", and regions which are "undersupplied with high-quality casinos".
Queenco Leisure is also pursuing a number of other new projects including the development of a nightclub and slot machine hall (with 60 machines) in Prague. The Prague development is scheduled to open for business in late 2007, with the expectation of developing it into a full casino once the regulatory environment has become more developed.
The company has also recently entered into a consortium to operate the only licensed casino in Belgrade, Serbia. Other markets being looked at include Bulgaria and Cambodia.