Privatization of Irish Lottery?


Spain already in the lottery sale process

New reports arose this week that the cash-strapped Irish government is considering the sale of the Irish state lottery in order to collect more cash in its coffers. The final decision on the assets for sale is still to be discussed, however, but the assets will be valued in the meantime, as a starting point.

So far, no comment has arrived on these reports from the Finance ministry, but it was assessed by RTE, which reported the news in the first place, that the government's Economic Management Council, which is made up of Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Taoiseach (PM) Enda Kenny has already discussed the sale.

In the meantime, Spain has already engaged in the process of sale of its lottery company, Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, which could result in a EUR7 billion plus for the government.

It has been reported by The Guardian that the privatization is worth EUR25 billion, that it includes the famous El Gordo, and that it will start in London on Sept. 6.

"The early marketing for the offer of about 30 percent of the state-owned Loterías y Apuestas del Estado - which is set to be Spain's largest ever stock market listing by raising up to Euro 9 billion - is to begin with the arrival of chairman Aurelio Martinez, finance director Luis Palacios and chief operating officer Marcelo Ruiz to target City investors," says the Guardian.

"The float is being led by a quartet of bulge bracket banks - UBS, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Cazenove and Goldman Sachs, along with BBVA and Santander of Spain - to be joined by a host of rival City firms including Citi, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Barclays which also have their names on the ticket in smaller roles."

Spain's financial problems can be held accountable for the sale, but even if it all goes well, there's still a possibility that Spain will need a financial injection similar to the one given to Greece and Ireland, so there are plans to sell off another 19 percent of the government's lottery company share in the future.

However, The Guardian also pointed out to the good side of the privatization, opining: "The company could become the world's largest listed gaming company by value, if the offer is successful, and it plans to pay investors a yield of about 6 percent on a monthly basis following admission."

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