Polish sports betting giant STS Holding SA is planning to use the $266 million raised in its Warsaw IPO towards a new investment arm. The company, the biggest in the sector in Poland at a 45.8% market share as of February 2021, plans to invest in Warsaw-listed stocks in a series of industries.
According to CEO Mateusz Juroszek, these investments -in technology, e-commerce and real estate- will take up 20% to 30% of the company’s portfolio. The executive, however, doesn’t expect the investment entity to be fully up and running for as many as five years. It will also include dividends from the family’s home building business, Atal SA.
The company is led by the Juroszek family, which owned 100% of its shares before the public listing. The Juroszeks are also owners of a 10% stake in asset managers Skarbiec Holding SA and Quercus TFI SA, and have stakes in Flutter Entertainment, Evolution AB and Better Collective, while reportedly looking for more investment opportunities in the US.
The company sold earlier this month a 30% stake which, along with dividends from Atal SA, will fund an investment vehicle to buy “large” stakes in companies “with high dividend-paying and growth potential,” the CEO said, according to Bloomberg.
“We want to invest strongly on the Warsaw Stock Exchange because we believe in good prospects for the Polish economy and local stocks,” he said in an interview with the cited news source. The company is set to start trading in Warsaw this week.
One company the Juroszek family is eyeing is Allegro.eu SA, Poland’s biggest e-commerce platform. Its stock fell about 56% this year following Amazon Inc. entering the Polish market. However, STS’ CEO believes the business is a vital part of the local “internet culture” and sees potential for retaining leadership in the years to come.
In terms of sports betting investments, STS’ solid finances and lack of debt positions it ready for mid-sized takeover deals “without reducing the dividend,” according to Juroszek. “For STS we look for targets in central and eastern Europe, but we don’t have anything precise on the radar, as we have a selective and steady approach,” he said to Bloomberg.
Allotment of STS’ offer shares is scheduled for December 8, while the first day of trading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange is scheduled for December 10. The Juroszek family will retain a 70% holding in the business.
“STS is a strong brand that the entire team has been building and developing for the three decades,” Juroszek said on the IPO. “We believe that due to our competitive advantages the group will continue outperforming the market and will be able to reach an increasing number of new customers.”