The former CEO of Canadian based Amaya Inc had expressed his intention of acquiring the company earlier this year but did not make an official offer. Now David Baazov and his group of global investors have finally sent in an official acquisition proposal. Amaya Inc is the parent company of PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world.
Baazov has offered C$24 per common share for the Canadian online gambling giant which amounts to a total deal value of C$3.48 billion. Amaya’s latest closing share price was C$18.34, which makes the offer from Baazov a a 30.9 percent premium over it.
Baazov added that he was making the bid as the head of a soon-to-be announced new company. He made it clear that he had enough funds stating that he has raised $3.65 billion in funds for the bid. Baazov at present owns a 17.2 percent stake in Amaya.
Four investment firms namely, Goldenway Capital SPC, KBC Aldini Capital Ltd, Head and Shoulders Global Investment Fund SPC, and Ferdyne Advisory Inc have expressed interest in financing the deal according to Baazov. The receipt of a non-binding offer from Baazov was confirmed by Amaya’s Board of Directors. The statement issued by the directors said that they would be reviewing the proposal and stated that the offer may not convert into a completed transaction.
Baazov had announced early this year in February that he along with a few investors would be making an offer to buy the company out as he wanted to take the company private.
In March 2016, Baazov was charged with insider trading charges by the Canadian securities regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) along with several others. The five insider trading charges made against him relate to several instances of confidential information being leaked ahead of Amaya’s merger deals. The AMF claims that Baazov leaked news of Amaya’s merger deals to his brother including the 2014 acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt, resulting in illegal profits from stock trades.
Shortly after the charges were filed, Baazov decided to step down from his role in Amaya, citing the need to protect the company and to focus attention on defending himself. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Baazov’s offer comes in the wake of Amaya and UK bookmaker William Hill contemplating a merger-of-equals deal last month. Discussions fell through after a major shareholder of William Hill raised objections, questioning the impact of online poker’s limited market potential.