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Amaya could be bought out for C$3.5 billion

Amaya Gaming are easily Canada’s most famous casino software developer. The online casino company could soon be subject to a takeover bid, and by none other than their former chairman and CEO, David Baazov. The deal on the table is widely reported to be worth around C$3.4 billion, making it one of the biggest online casino buy-outs in recent years if it goes ahead.

The deal

Little is known of the logistics of the deal. Mr Baazov is currently representing a 30.9% premium of the price of shares on Friday, which shares closing at C$18.34. Baazov hasn’t made the bid on his own, though. He has reportedly done so as the head of a new company, although that company has not revealed itself. The business entity is not even believed to have been properly formed yet. A brand new casino gaming company making such a vast acquisition would be a bold move indeed, and instantly catapult whatever the company is towards the middle of the casino software developer rankings.

What has Amaya said?

According to Amaya Gaming themselves, nothing is concrete. The Canadian casino software developer admits to receiving an offer, although they have confirmed that it is non-binding. They also confirmed that it was Mr Baazov’s new company who have made the offer. The board will now consider the offer, and if anything is decided, information is thought to be forthcoming from the company.

Long-standing deal

Mr Baazov has been planning this move for some time now. In fact, he first mentioned his desire to snap up Amaya Gaming and take them private back in February of this year. Until now, though, he has not expressed any further interest. There could be muddied waters ahead, though. In March, Baazov and others have been targeted by an AMF (Autorité des marchés financiers) investigation. This was due to Amaya snapping up PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker after the disasters which befell both businesses. Apparently, Baazov used confidential information to lower the market price. He pleaded not guilty, and left the company shortly afterwards.

Is a deal likely?

It is hard to say. Baazov owns 17.2% of Amaya Gaming, but that is nowhere near enough to force a takeover. Many at Amaya Gaming may be reluctant to do business with a man who has been marked by such an investigation. Recently, Amaya was linked to a merger with William Hill, but the latter pulled out after being told to by investors in the company. There is plenty of interest in Amaya then, so they may yet decide to sell, although not to Mr Baazov.


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