Amaya Inc is currently reviewing a proposal submitted by ex-chairman and chief executive officer David Baazov and his group of investors who have agreed to pay C$24 per share to acquire the Canadian based online gambling giant who owns PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world.
Baazov’s initial proposal included financial backers from Hong Kong and Dubai and proposed a 20 percent higher rate than what the company’s shares were trading at. The Dubai based investor has since then denied being involved in the acquisition process and stated that Baazov used their name without prior approval. The Hong Kong based investors Goldenway Capital SPC and Head and Shoulders Global Investment Fund SPC bailed Baazov out by agreeing to fund the Dubai based investor’s share but the confusion has negatively impacted Baazov’ proposal.
SpringOwl Asset Management which owns a 2 percent share in Amaya Inc sent a letter to Amaya’s board of directors and asked them to move out of Baazov’s influence and focus on new market opportunities and developing the company in the midst of stiff competition. The chief executive officer of SpringOwl Asset Management Jason Adder admitted concerns over Baazov’s credibility.
In a statement, Adder said “If I were making a $4 billion bid and would want the shareholders to take me seriously, I would provide much more transparency to the shareholders. If we have a credible bid with transparency, then we should consider it. But the current price seems low and the lack of transparency and the information about the sources of funding raises a lot of questions.”
Baazov stepped down from his role as chief executive officer and chairman of Amaya Inc earlier this year after Canadian authorities filed insider trading charges against him and a number of other senior Amaya Inc executives. Baazov has denied all allegations and is currently battling these charges in a Canadian court of law. He owns a seventeen percent stake in Amaya, making him the second biggest shareholder in the company and announced plans earlier of acquiring the company and taking it private.
Amaya Inc responded to SpringOwl Asset Management letter of concern by stating that it was open to feedback from all shareholders and would discuss their concerns. Baazov has also responded to the SpringOwl Asset Management letter and said that he stood by his acquisition proposal and would continue to hold discussions with Amaya Inc.