Despite concerns of criminal charges, former Amaya CEO David Baazov has made an official $3.5 billion takeover offer to buy the online gambling company. Baazov was the CEO of the company when it had purchased the Rational Group, the company behind PokerStars, in a deal that was worth $5 billion in 2014. According to the press release, the bid was “at a price of CA$24.00 per common share”, which represents a 31 per cent premium on Friday’s closing share price at CA$18.34 per share.
Baazov had previously made a $2.8 billion offer back in January, it was then that he had announced that he had plans to take the online gaming giant private, before taking an indefinite leave of absence from Amaya after being charged by Quebec’s securities regulator (AMF) for an inside trading scheme.
These charges which he pleaded not guilty to are alleged to include Amaya’s $4.9-billion acquisition of PokerStars in 2014, the world’s largest online poker room, in which he is accused of having access to confidential information during negotiations to influence the market price of the purchase. Mr. Baazov was being investigated by the AMF shortly after the Canadian online gambling company acquired PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Four Funds Will Help Raise Capital for the Potential Amaya Takeover
As one might expect, Baazov would not be fronting all of the capital required to buy the company. Unlike Baazov’s offer earlier in the year, the Amaya Inc. former CEO said on Monday that he had secured $3.65 billion to use for the potential takeover. Four investment funds had expressed interest to help fund the takeover, including Head and Shoulders Global Investment Fund SPC, KBC Aldini Capital Ltd., Ferdyne Advisory Inc. and Goldenway Capital SPC.
At the time of writing this news, there has been no indication by Amaya about whether they will accept or reject the offer that Baazov has put on the table. Shares in Amaya have already risen by 18 per cent as a result of the takeover news.