The Spanish manufacturer and operator Recreativos Franco-RF has reached an agreement with main shareholders of CODERE company regarding its leaving the latter. They have been working on this agreement for the last 8 months. Main shareholders of Codere operator are still the Martinez Sanpedro family, who will now control 80% of the share capital; its president is still José Antonio Martínez Sanpedro. Presidents and founders of RF-R.Franco are still Joaquín and Jesús Franco brothers, who are selling their 18 million shares (42%) at a price that goes from EUR 17.- to EUR 23.- per share, depending on the moment of payment; the transaction is warranted by Credit Suisse. Until December 31, Codere operated a total of 35,300 gaming machines, 77 bingo halls, 41 sports betting offices, 2 racetracks and 6 casinos, in Spain Italy and South America. This operation involves one of the most relevant transactions in the history of the Spanish gaming business during the last 25 years; friendship between both families has eased the way for this friendly agreement. RF strengthens its liquidity and can therefore re-invest in new projects.
The Spanish videogame market has grown substantially. According to figures of the Spanish Association of Software Editors -ADESE, in the year 2005 sales of videogames experienced an increase of 15% with a turnover of 863 mill.€uros (741 mill.€uros in 2004). Sales of videogames consoles have surpassed two million units, 64% of which correspond to the PlayStation Portable. With regards to the rest of Europe, Spain still ranks fourth, behind Italy, France and the United Kingdom.
Strong complaints arise from the different gaming sectors concerning the implementation of the Non Smoking Law, in force throughout Spain since January 1st., 2006. The law is although pending of further development in each Autonomous Community, where regional specifications can be approved, that is to say, this legal framework must be completed in each region and meanwhile, entrepreneurs (producers, operators, owners) of bingos, casinos, arcades, bars, restaurants… report the negative impact that the ban on smoking has had on their business.