In the latest Online Casino News coming out of Canada, former Amaya chairman and Chief Executive David Baazov has announced that he has made the decision to abandon his bid to buy Amaya and take the online gambling company private. Amaya is a formidable name in the iGaming industry and its popularity is further enforced by its PokerStars brand, and online casino and sportsbook brands.
Baazov had made an official offer to the Canadian-based business in the middle of November, but it seems that his offer has been withdrawn due to certain company shareholders asking for a purchase price that he was not able, or prepared, to meet. This has led to the talks between Baazov and Amaya being terminated.
Baazov had proposed that he acquire the company he had founded for approximately CAD3.5 billion, or an estimated CD24 per share. He had stated that he’d managed to secure financial backing from no less than 4 different investors, but one of the named backers denied any ties with Baazov and said that they had no involvement whatsoever in the acquisition. This prompted a second equity firm that had confirmed its involvement to pull out, leaving Baazov with 2 rather than 4 supposed investors.
In just over two weeks Baazov’s acquisition fell apart and his approach to purchasing Amaya was heavily criticised by SpringOwl Asset Management LLC, one of the gambling businesses largest and most respected shareholders. SpringOwl argued that Baazov’s offer drastically undervalued Amaya’s worth and suggested that the board reject the offer as it was lacking in key details.
Known as the King of Online Gambling, Baazov is no stranger to controversy. He was charged with insider trading and other counts relating to his $4.9 billion deal that involved the acquisition of the Rational Group; a company that owns both the PokerStars and FullTilt Poker brands. These charges, and the subsequent media spotlight that was shone on him, saw him vacate his post of chairman and Chief Executive at Amaya, but he is still the largest shareholder, as he has a 17% stake in the brand. Now that he has abandoned his quest to take Amaya private there’s no telling what his next move will be, but past experience has shown that he’s not one to back down from a challenge, and may well look for other ways to exert his influence over the online gambling company.