Founded in 1978 and based in the Catalan city of Terrassa, just outside of Barcelona, Cirsa is Spain’s biggest casino and bingo-hall operator. It counts about 134 casinos, more than 41,500 recreational machines, 68 bingo halls, 171 arcades, 2,000 sports betting outlets and more than 3,000 lottery terminals in Spain, Italy and in Latin America.
Cirsa’s majority owner, billionaire Manuel Lao Hernandez, let it be known last November that he’d tapped financial advisory firm Lazard to help weigh several strategic options, including a potential initial public offering, the sale of a minority stake in the company or an outright transfer of ownership. Analysts have suggested the company has a valuation that tops off around €2 billion.
None of the funds mentioned in the Spanish media reports commented on their potential interest in Cirsa.
Cirsa generates annual revenue of roughly €1.6 billion and earnings of over €400 million. The company’s most recent quarterly results showed record earnings of €108 million in the three months ending September 30.
In addition to its Spanish casino and bingo business, Cirsa is involved with UK bookmakers Ladbrokes on the Sportium sports betting joint venture. Cirsa also has land-based and online operations in multiple Latin American markets, including Mexico, Panama and (soon) Colombia.
A spokeswoman for Cirsa said the company is still evaluating all options and meeting with investment funds as part of the review, declining to provide further details.
Source: GMB / Calvin Ayre