Amaya Inc is still sounding out potential investors as it weighs up the bid for the group led by embattled CEO & Chairman David Baazov, who is currently on a leave of absence from the company as he battles insider trading charges.
The firm is also on the hunt for a new leadership team as Baazov and CFO Daniel Sebag have revealed they will not be standing for re-election to the board at the upcoming AGM.
Amaya said its Special Committee‘s review of strategic alternatives is active and ongoing, with the goal of determining ‘the best outcome for Amaya and its shareholders’. The company added: “Specifically, the Special Committee’s financial advisor, Barclays Capital Canada Inc., has contacted a range of strategic and financial parties who might be interested in a transaction involving Amaya.”
Several parties, including Baazov, have entered into confidentiality agreements with Amaya, which earlier on this year launched a new betting brand – BetStars, and a number of these parties have received management presentations and are conducting due diligence.
However the firm warned: “While there can be no assurance that this process will result in a transaction of any kind, the Special Committee is focused on completing its review of strategic alternatives in a timely manner. The Special Committee believes the interests of Amaya and its shareholders are best served by maintaining confidentiality around the details of this process, but it will provide further updates to shareholders as circumstances warrant.”
Baazov is a busy man at the moment. Not only is he bidding to buy the company that he has elevated to the top table in the gambling industry with a series of bold investment and acquisition plays, he’s also facing five criminal charges from Quebec Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) over the purchase of PokerStars and FullTilt parent organisation Rational Group. Others are also defending similar charges from the AMF.
Meanwhile Amaya has posted a 6% increase in revenues for the first quarter of 2016. Interim Chief Executive Officer Rafi Ashkenazi declared: “Amaya remains focused.
“During the first quarter, we continued to execute on our growth plans despite unexpected challenges, including management changes and the ongoing strategic alternatives process. We attracted new customers to PokerStars, continued to introduce changes to improve the overall poker experience, expanded our online casino offering and continued to invest in our emerging online sportsbook.”
Real-money online revenues for the quarter increased by 6.7%. It would have been as high as 14.0% without the impact of year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates.