CEO Baazov takes Second Stab at Buying Amaya Gaming

David Baazov former CEO Amaya GamingTwo weeks ago, David Baazov, former CEO and founder of Canadian-based online gambling firm Amaya Gaming, followed through on his promise to make a bid for the company and take it private. His initial offer was filed with the SEC to include four funding backers. That fell through amidst controversy, but he’s not ready to give up on that dream just yet.

On Friday, Nov 25, Baazov filed an amendment to his original offering with the SEC. This time, he names just two firms who are prepared to back his acquisition, Head and Shoulders Global Investment Fund and Goldenway Capital, each based out of Hong Kong.

Both of those investment firms were included in the original filing to help provide capital for Baazov’s CA$24 per share bid to take over the parent of global online poker juggernaut, PokerStars. Two other funding sources from the initial filing, KBC Aldini Capital Limited of Dubai and Ferdyne Advisory Inc, registered in the British Virgin Islands, have been removed.

Initial Bid Falls Apart Under Controversy

It was a rather odd turn of events that led to the former CEO’s need to amend the SEC documents. Last week, KBC Aldini Capital filed a complaint against David Baazov with the SEC, claiming it had “no involvement” or knowledge of the deal to back Baazov’s bid for Amaya Gaming.

KBC CEO Kalani Lal spoke with the media, explaining that he had never heard of Amaya, and that he nor anyone within his company had held discussions on the matter. Mr. Lal insisted that the original filing had used “KBC’s name fraudulently”.

Two Backers To Provide $3.5 Billion

According to the newly amended SEC filing, HS Global and Goldenway Capital have undertaken “binding equity commitment letters”. The two funds, which are both registered with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, have committed to providing $3.5 billion in equity.

That figure is $200 million less than the equity provided in Baazov’s original proposal for Amaya Gaming.

The amendment letter also confirms that:

“… the equity commitment letter purported to be delivered to the Acquiror on behalf of KBC was delivered without KBC’s knowledge or consent and that KBC has not committed to provide financing for the proposed acquisition of Amaya. KBC is not one of the Equity Financing Sources of the Proposed Transaction.”

Just Another Scandal For David Baazov?

The complaint filed by KBC against David Baazov is just one more notch in his belt of controversial dealings. Earlier this year, he became embroiled in an investigation by Quebec’s security regulators. He was charged with numerous counts involving insider trading of Amaya Gaming shares, revolving around the company’s 2014 acquisition of PokerStars.

Baazov was accused of dealing in privileged information, which he allegedly supplied to several investors who profited to the tune of over $1 million from the information.

The investigation led to his temporarily stepping down from his CEO position with Amaya back in March, followed by a formal resignation in August. That announcement came the same day Amaya Gaming confirmed it was in talks with more than one potential buyer. Although no names were mentioned, we now know that Baazov himself was among them.

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