Amaya Inc CEO David Baazov surprised the poker community last week when a report surfaced that Baazov had plans to acquire PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world. Canadian based Amaya Inc acquired PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker back in 2014 for $4.9 billion and in less than 2 years, Baazov has decided to team up with a small team of investors and make an offer to buy-out Pokerstars.
Amaya Inc had stated last week that they did not receive any official offer from Baazov and should an official proposal come in, it would be reviewed by a special committee and an independent board of directors. The company recently hired the services of Barclays Capital Canada Inc to act as a financial advisor and consultant on Baazov’s takeover proposition. Amaya Inc has also hired the services of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP to serve as their legal advisor on the proposed takeover bid.
David Baazov and four investors, who are believed to be senior executives at Amaya Inc, have offered to pay C$21 per share to investors which will most likely give them a forty percent increase. One of these investors is Marlon Goldstein, an individual who holds the position of Executive Vice President for Corporate Development and General Counsel at Amaya Inc. There have also been reports that Baazov and his team have enlisted the services of Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs to assist with the buy-out proposal but these reports have not been confirmed by Baazov.
Amaya Inc has also confirmed that till date, Baazov has not sent in an official proposal and if such a proposal would come in, Amaya Inc will not consult with its shareholders or ask them to vote in order to make a decision. The company also emphasised the fact that should Baazov roll out an offer, the board could make a decision not to go ahead and complete the transaction.
Amaya Inc share prices continue to fluctuate in 2016 as the share price dropped to C$13.66 on 5th Feb and rose to C$18.48 on the 8th of Feb. Amaya Inc’s share prices have dropped by nearly 49 percent during the last 12 months, making it a difficult proposition for analysts to predict what exactly could be the buy-out price that Amaya Inc could end up agreeing with, should they decide to accept Baazov’s offer for a buy-out.
According to a Wall Street report, consulting firm Global Maxfin has stated that Baazov’s offer at C$21 a share was an opportunistic offer and the firm advised Amaya Inc shareholders to be patient and see how the deal develops as they believe that the shareholders can hold out for a higher price.