STS Holdings eyeing up future investments following Warsaw IPO

After successfully listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) last week, STS Holdings is reportedly planning on making stock purchases using the raised capital, according to Bloomberg

STS, Poland’s largest sports betting operator, was able to raise 1.08 billion zloty (€235.5m) via a sale of 30% of its shares, and Bloomberg has now reported that the company’s CEO, Mateusz Juroszek, now aims to create an ‘investment vehicle’ to purchase stakes in high-dividend paying WSE-listed firms.

A potential target of STS’ investment ambitions is e-commerce platform, which is the largest such enterprise in Poland and has been described by Juroszek as a core part of the country’s internet culture.

Speaking to the outlet, the CEO remarked: “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 a phone interview. “The family office will look for opportunities in tech, e-commerce and real estate sectors. Polish stocks will make up some 20% to 30% of the portfolio.”

A long-term strategic focus on investments was detailed as a key ambition post-public listing by STS Holdings when it announced its plans earlier this year, building on its acquisition of a 74% stake in Czech technology company Betsys – the largest IT provider to the Polish sports betting sector – in 2020, whilst the Juroszek family also hold 10% stakes in asset management firms Quercus TFI SA and Skarbiec Holding SA.

Additionally, a second objective detailed by the firm when making its public listing ambitions was a desire to use capital raised to support its expansion in international markets, at the time planning to launch in markets “insufficiently served in terms of innovation or advancement of product offering”, where the firm believes it would hold a competitive advantage.

However, Bloomberg has detailed that the company could also focus on the rapidly expanding US market, having already secured stakes in major companies operating in the space such as Flutter Entertainment and Better Collective.

“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,” Juroszek continued.

Despite being the market leader in Poland with a 2020 market share of 46%, the group continues to lag behind larger multinational gambling firms with regards to investments, with Bloomberg outlining that the aforementioned Flutter Entertainment currently invests $23.3 billion as opposed to STS’ $0.9 billion.

The company’s investment ambitions, however, could take some time to reach fruition, as Juroszek confirmed that it the firm may take up to five-years to establish a strong investment arm, using the 1.08 billion zloty public listing capital as well as funds from the family’s Atal SA home building business.

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