Just a few weeks after gaming giant William Hill Plc ended talks to merge with Amaya Inc., another big deal could be in the works.
Amaya Inc. founder David Baazov is spearheading a group that delivered a proposal to the company's board of directors to acquire the company and take it private. According to reports by both Financial Times and Bloomberg Markets, the deal is valued at $6.7 billion including debt.
The deal is reportedly comprised of the following:
- $3.65 billion acquisition from unnamed backers of outstanding shares at C$24 per share or a 31 percent increase of the C$18.34 closing price.
- $427-$437 million of Baazov's own shares.
- $1.15 billion purchase of Amaya’s convertible preferred shares.
- $2.55 billion assumption of debt.
Baazov's group is also prepared to submit a $200 million deposit into escrow if an agreement is reached in the event that Amaya Inc.'s $400 million deferred payment commitment to the Oldford Group Limited — who previously owned the Rational Group (parent company to PokerStars and Full Tilt) — becomes due before the proposed transaction is closed.
Baazov and his group of investors believe taking the company private will better position the company.
"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," he said. "While Amaya incurs the substantial costs and scrutiny associated with being a reporting company, it obtains no benefit from being public."
While Amaya incurs the substantial costs and scrutiny associated with being a reporting company, it obtains no benefit from being public.
This could prove to be a huge comeback for Baazov, who recently resigned from Amaya Inc. after Quebec’s securities regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), filed five separate insider trading charges against him for allegedly manipulating the stock price. Baazov, who has plead not guilty to these charges and plans to fight them, previously proposed to buy Amaya Inc. back in February from the company's shareholders for C$21 per share.
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