Baazov closing in on Amaya bid

Baazov closing in on Amaya bid

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 Totally Gaming
CEO David Baazov wants to buy the owner of PokerStars

Amaya's chairman and chief executive said he is making progress towards a formal bid for the gaming operator, which announced increased revenues but a net loss for 2015.

David Baazov indicated in early February that his consortium, which includes other senior executives, would be willing to offer Can$21 per share in cash for the owner of PokerStars and Full Tilt. Amaya as a whole would be worth Can$2.79bn (€1.9bn/$2.1bn) at the suggested purchase price, including the stock and options that Baazov already owns.

"I'm in a position to move towards submitting a proposal to acquire the outstanding shares of Amaya consistent with my previously announced intentions," Baazov said during a conference call about the company's 2015 results.

Full-year revenue totalled Can$1.4bn, which is an increase of eight per cent on the Can$1.3bn posted in the previous year. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 11 per cent year-on-year to Can$586.9m, while adjusted net earnings also increased by 18 per cent to Can$372.2m.

However, Amaya noted that exchange rates and business costs caused net earnings from continuing operations to fall by 121 per cent year-on-year from a positive figure of Can$125.2m in 2014 to a loss of Can$25.9m.

Amaya capped a strong end to 2015 as it beat expectations with adjusted profits growing nearly 27 per cent in the fourth quarter. The Montreal-based company said it earned $111.25 million in adjusted.

"Throughout 2015 we successfully executed on our strategy of diversifying our operations while maintaining market dominance in poker," Baazov said.

"Despite significant foreign exchange and product rollout challenges, we achieved positive growth on a constant currency basis and, through investments and initiatives that will continue through 2016, have laid the foundation for becoming a leader across multiple gaming verticals."

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