Amaya Gaming May Go Private with Latest Bid

Published Monday, November 14, 2016 -
Amaya Gaming May Go Private with Latest Bid

Private online gambling firms seem to have a slight edge over the internet casinos that are public mainly because there aren’t the expectations of shareholders to worry about. The recent news that Canadian online gambling giant Amaya Gaming has an opportunity to go private has the news wires humming with speculation and scrutiny.

Amaya has had a relatively short time as a public firm after the Montreal based company bought out the former Full Tilt Poker Stars brands from the parent company the Rational Group. The balance of the $400 million deferred payment to the Rational Group must be made by February 1, 2017 and Amaya has agreed to prepay at least half of that amount.

Amaya Gaming revealed its Q3 financial results and the former CEO of Amaya Gaming David Baazov has offered to purchase the firm for a reported $3.43 billion, a significant increase over an offer from Baazov last spring. Baazov maintains his close ties to the company will let him, “negotiate a definitive agreement that need only contain limited representations and warranties, on an expedited basis, thereby reducing any distraction to management.” He has requested that the company gives him an answer on the offer within five business days.

Baazov wrote in a letter to Amaya board of directors, the filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed,

“As the online gaming industry continues to mature, I believe that it is in the best interests of Amaya to be positioned as a private company,” Baazov continues, “While Amaya incurs the substantial costs and scrutiny associated with being a reporting company, it obtains no benefit from being public.” Baazov still faces charges of illegal insider trading brought by Quebec’s securities watchdog. He has pleaded not guilty and will fight the charges.

The recent talks with U.K. online gambling operator William Hill spurred speculation that Amaya was looking for change but that dissolved and now this acquisition bid has materialized.

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