EMMA investment holding was founded in 2012 on the initiative of Jiří Šmejc. At that time, Jiří Šmejc held a five percent share in Petr Kellner´s PPF Group and had just agreed on a division of the assets jointly held by them. As compensation for his stake in PPF Group, Jiří Šmejc increased his shareholding in Home Credit Group and by mutual agreement became its CEO.
As early as the following year, EMMA secured its first major acquisition by leading an international consortium that succeeded in a tender for the privatisation of a 33% stake in the Greek lottery company OPAP. Since then, EMMA Group has been managing the company and oversaw its extensive restructuring process.
In 2015, EMMA entered into a partnership with KKCG aiming to acquire of Casinos Austria. The result of this process was an indirect capital investment into the company and a continuing acquisition process targeting further stakes in Casinos Austria and Österreichische Lotterien (Austrian Lotteries).
In 2016, EMMA and KKCG also acquired a minority stake in LOTTOITALIA, which operates the Italian national lottery. Their partner in this venture is Lottomatica.
Thanks to their successful collaboration in these projects, EMMA and KKCG saw a significant convergence of their business interests. This has led Jiří Šmejc and Karel Komárek, the owner of KKCG, to unify their activities in the field of gaming, resulting in the creation of Sazka Group, in which KKCG holds 75% and EMMA the remaining 25%. Simultaneously, EMMA gained a corresponding share in the Czech lottery company Sazka.
In 2013, Jiří Šmejc, who had previously been the sole owner of EMMA, offered minority stakes to his key partners. While Jiří Šmejc remains the majority shareholder, Pavel Horák, Tomáš Kočka, Ondřej Frydrych, Michal Houšť and Peter Stohr hold minority stakes in the management company EMMA Capital. José Garza, another key person, entered directly into GAZ SUD Group as an equity investor in 2016.
EMMA Group’s activities are directed towards acquisitions, primarily in the retail sphere. Recently, EMMA has achieved great success in gaming, placing it among the largest players in the European gaming market – a position that it intends to strengthen in the future. EMMA´s sights are set not only on European lottery businesses but it is also actively seeking investment opportunities in other fields.
EMMA’s preferred strategy is to take an active role in the management of the companies that it brings under its umbrella. Each new company undergoes a certain degree of restructuring, overseen and managed by EMMA’s team of experts, to ensure that the given company can successfully complete the process.
A special place in EMMA’s portfolio is reserved for Home Credit Group – the world’s largest point-of-sale consumer finance lender. Stemming from an agreement with Home Credit’s majority owner, PPF Group, EMMA is responsible for Home Credit’s operational management and its results. Home Credit Group also includes Air Bank, an innovative Czech retail bank. EMMA’s share in Home Credit Group is 11.37%.
A similar agreement was concluded between EMMA and PPF with regards to the management of Eldorado – Russia’s second largest consumer electronics chain and one of the largest retail companies in Europe. Here, EMMA held a 20% share until December 2016, when EMMA and PPF sold all their shares in Eldorado to a group of Russian investors connected to the Samfar financial and investment group.