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 managed the company and oversaw its extensive restructuring process.
EMMA Group subsequently strengthened its presence in the gaming sphere through further acquisitions. It gradually acquired stakes in the Austrian companies Casinos Austria and Österreichische Lotterien, in the Italian LOTTOITALIA, and in the Croatian SuperSport. EMMA closely cooperated with KKCG Group in all of these transactions.
Thanks to this successful collaboration, the two Groups saw a significant convergence of their business interests. This 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 held 75% and EMMA the remaining 25%. Simultaneously, EMMA gained a corresponding share in the Czech lottery company SAZKA.
At the turn of 2019, EMMA Group and KKCG Group came to an agreement on dividing their assets in SAZKA Group. EMMA Group thus retained stakes in the Croatian lottery company SuperSport, as well as a financial consideration on the order of several hundred million Euro for the other assets.
Between 2013 and 2016, 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 as an equity investor into the Romanian GAZ SUD Group, which was a further notable acquisition of EMMA Group and today operates under the name of Premier Energy.
EMMA Group’s activities are directed towards acquisitions, primarily in the retail sphere.
The Group'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 8.88%.
A similar agreement existed 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 Safmar financial and investment group.
Worth mentioning is also the Group's continuous increasing of its market share in the distribution and sale of natural gas in Romania. Here, EMMA Capital created the Premier Energy group, which today is the third-largest player on the Romanian market.