Amaya Privatization Bid Gains Momentum

Discussion in 'Gambling News' started by Marina, Feb 10, 2016.

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  1. Marina

    Marina Administrator Staff Member

    Recently, rumors started to circulate that the chief executive officer of one of the world’s largest gambling
    companies in the world,
    Amaya Gaming was seeking to privatize the company through a takeover bid.

    David Baazov’s plan came as a surprise to the online gambling world, considering that it wasn’t too long ago that he successfully led Amaya – parent company of PokerStars – through a public listing.
    Baazov is Amaya Gaming’s largest shareholder with 18.6% of the shares.


    This week, Baazov confirmed that he was mounting a takeover bid for the company and has appointed Barclays Capital Canada to act as its exclusive financial advisor.

    The bid is expected to be worth CA$2.8 billion. Baazav is set to offer $21 per Amaya Gaming share to stockholders – an expected 40% income on the current share value of around $15 on the Toronto exchange.
    It has been indicated that Baazov partnered with a group of as-of-yet unnamed investors to gain full ownership of the group.

    Baazov paid $4.9 billion to buy the Rational Group less than two years ago. The privately owned Rational is owner of Poker Stars, the world’s largest and most powerful online poker room.

    “Amaya Inc. announced that the special committee of the board of directors of Amaya has appointed Barclays Capital Canada Inc. to act as its exclusive financial advisor in connection with the previously
    announced notice that Amaya has received from its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David Baazov, that he intends to make an all-cash proposal to acquire Amaya at a price estimated by Mr. Baazov
    to be C$21.00 per common share” read the note sent out by Amaya Gaming to the media on Monday.
    “The special committee has also engaged Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP as its legal advisor in connection with the notice received from Mr. Baazov.”

    The note went on to say that Amaya’s executive vice president, corporate development and general counsel, Marlon Goldstein, as well as three other senior employees, may be participating
    in Baazov’s potential transaction proposal.

    Amaya was quick to point out, however “that the special committee has neither received nor solicited a formal bid or offer related to a potential transaction and there can be no assurance that
    Mr. Baazov's notice will result in a formal bid or offer or that any such bid or offer will ultimately result in a completed transaction.”

    The question remains whether Baazov’s bid to privatize Amaya Gaming and make it his own empire will actually work. Analysts say that Amaya shareholders may have difficulty approving a deal at these levels.
    Gaming analyst, Chad Beynon of Macquarie Securities said that he believed that the shareholders would “want to hold out for more, particularly given the flurry of major acquisitions in the last 24 months.”

    Others have speculated that the bid could actually be a bluff and simply a way to push up Amaya’s share prices.
    This would be a risky move on Baazov’s part, since there are, as analysts point out, very few gaming companies in the world that could realistically afford to buy PokerStars.
    Ellis likes this.

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