a castle in France, Greek marinas, Romanian gambling

a castle in France, Greek marinas, Romanian gambling
a castle in France, Greek marinas, Romanian gambling

Photo: PPF / Cristina Gottardi / CzechCrunch

Jiří Šmejc invests in ports in Croatia and Greece

When it’s good, it’s good. Jiří Šmejc is not idle and is expanding his entrepreneurial kingdom to other territories. In recent days, his investment group Emma Capital announced the purchase of two marinas in Greece, which will join the already existing docks in Croatia, and also made a double purchase in Romania. There, on the contrary, she bet on the gambling business, which she has been involved in for a long time. And to make matters worse, Jiří Šmejc and Daniel Křetínský also bought a mansion in France, from which the two billionaires are going to build a luxury hotel.

The western and southern coasts of the Istrian peninsula, the island of Čiovo near Split, the western coast of the island of Korčula and now two places on the easternmost tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is there that the Marina 21 group belonging to Emma Capital has or will have its marinas. Jiří Šmejc is planning to build a network of modern and environmentally friendly wharves in the Mediterranean Sea, so further acquisitions can be expected in the future. For now, he has invested roughly two billion crowns in marinas.

Now the Marina 21 group has concluded negotiations with the Greek company Tethys on the purchase of a majority stake in the Porto Heli and Ermioni marinas on the coast of the Peloponnese peninsula. This is the first acquisition outside of Croatia, and Šmejc’s vehicle will acquire sixty percent shares in the mentioned projects. Marina Porto Heli is in operation from 2021, Marina Ermioni will start construction this year and should be put into operation in 2025.

“We greatly appreciate the successful negotiations with Tethys. For us, they are a confirmation of the fact that after a year of operation we have already built a good name in the given segment, which is not limited only to the Croatian market, where we started our business in this area,” said Pavel Horák, investment director of Emma Capital and the Marina 21 group, which was established only last year, about the closed transaction. Its first acquisitions were marinas in Novigrad and Trogir, while the purchases of marinas in Pula and on the island of Korčula have already been negotiated.

“Being in this area is more than just a business for us,” adds Pavel Horák. “We are not only concerned with providing high-level services and increasing user comfort. It is equally important for us to contribute to the preservation and protection of the Mediterranean ecosystem, which we consider completely unique and irreplaceable. We are convinced that the way marinas are operated has a significant influence on it. And we want to follow the path of the highest ecological standards.”

Betting in Romania

In the long term, Jiří Šmejc also believes in the betting and gambling business. In mid-August, he announced the sale of the majority of the Croatian betting company SuperSport, for which he will collect up to 17 billion crowns, but in principle this only acquired capital for other similar investments. In Romania, he has now joined two gaming companies, Get’s Bet and Club King. Emma Capital will acquire a majority stake of 67 percent in both companies. This is the first such acquisition by a domestic billionaire in Romania. However, he already knows the country well thanks to the gas and energy company Premier Energy.

“We are very happy with the concluded agreements. These are companies with extensive experience in the local market and great growth potential. I believe that the combination of excellent local management, our international know-how and investment opportunities will lead to the growth of the Get’s Bet group among the most important companies on the Romanian market,” Pavel Horák comments on Romanian acquisitions. His team wants to focus primarily on the development of the online activities of both companies, which have more than a thousand branches throughout Romania. And they are increasingly moving to the online world.

Jiří Šmejc himself currently also works as the head of the PPF financial group, whose reins he took over from the deceased Petar Kellner and the temporary government of the group’s minority shareholder Ladislav Bartoníček. In PPF, he cooperates with, among other things, another billionaire, Daniel Křetínský, and together they also own a luxury resort in the Maldives under the Velaa brand. They would now like to transfer this concept to France as well. They bought the Marais castle near Paris for hundreds of millions.


The article is in Czech

Tags: castle France Greek marinas Romanian gambling

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