European

Olympic Casino’s asset grab unnerves European junk bond investors

By Yoruk Bahceli

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A sleight of hand by the owner of an Estonian gaming company is alarming investors worried that tactics used by private equity firms in the United States to shift assets away from creditors are coming to Europe.

Olympic Entertainment, owned by private equity firm Novalpina Capital, told bondholders on June 18 it had moved some assets – all its online operations and a Lithuanian business – into an entity not bound by its credit agreements, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The company, which operates the Olympic Casino brand, distributed shares in the separate entity to a parent company controlled by Novalpina, the email said, effectively paying the London-based firm a dividend.

Olympic Entertainment, which had 114 casinos at the end of 2018 in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Italy and Malta, did not respond to requests for comment.

Olympic’s asset shift means holders

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WHO issues ‘worst is yet to come’ warning; European Union to extend American travel ban

As coronavirus cases climbed in the U.S. and across the globe, the World Health Organization director general warned “the worst is yet to come” and European Union leaders were ready to extend the ban on American travelers for at least two more weeks.

Adjustments were being made to help slow spreading of the disease. Jacksonville, Florida, which is scheduled to host the GOP convention, is mandating masks, though it’s not clear for how long. Broadway stages will remain dark through 2020.

Also, a drug company’s steep price for remdesivir, a drug that has proved to shorten recovery times for severe COVID-19 patients by about 31%, is drawing criticism.

Some good news? The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert remains “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine could be widely available by year’s end.

Here are the most significant developments of the day:

  • Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 10 million, while more than 504,000 across

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