Company adds poison pill to prevent purchase by Amaya Gaming ex-CEO

Amaya founder and former CEO David Baazov has sold about $99 million in Amaya’s shares, representing about 30 percent of his former stake in the company.

Baazov announced the sale of about 7 million shares of Amaya for C$19 apiece for a total consideration of C$133 million (US $99 million), according to a report on CalvinAyre.com. The shares are about 4.8 percent of the company’s outstanding common shares and about 30 percent of Baazov’s holdings in Amaya. Baazov still controls roughly 17.6 million Amaya shares, equal to 12.1 percent of the company, the website said.

The sale comes after Amaya announced a refinancing of its long-term debt. Officials said they expect the refinancing will save it around $15.4 million in annual interest expense.

The credit agreement waives the company’s required 2016 and 2017 excess cash flow repayments. This will free up around $48 million that Amaya will use for its remaining deferred payments to Isai and Mark Scheinberg, from whom Amaya purchased PokerStars in June 2014.

The refinancing included a requirement that the debt would become payable ahead of schedule if “a certain current shareholder” (presumably Baazov) made further attempts to acquire the company.

“At the request of certain lenders,” Amaya’s board said in a press release, “the amendment also modifies the change of control provision to remove the ability of a certain current shareholder to directly or indirectly acquire control of Amaya without triggering an event of default and potential acceleration of the repayment of the debt under the credit agreement for the first-lien term loans.”

Baazov has made previous attempts to acquire the company.

Author: GGB Staff

Staff writers for Global Gaming Business magazine, Las Vegas, Nevada.