Former CEO of Amaya Gaming, David Baazov, held a press release this week to announce that he is selling a 7-million batch of Amaya shares worth $99 million to use for “investment purposes”. The sale would see Baazov’s stakes in the company drop down from 17.2% to approximately 12.1%, and it comes not long after the company hinted they would be distancing themselves from the former CEO.
Baazov was at the helm of Amaya during its most successful time, when the then relatively small-scale company arranged a takeover of the Rational Group – the owners of some of the largest online poker brands PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. But the impressive acquisition also alerted the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), who launched an investigation about the acquisition process and subsequently filed insider trading charges against Baazov. The court case is due to be ruled in November and could see Baazov serve up to 5 years of prison time.
Following the charges, Baazov resigned from all positions within Amaya in August and had plans to buy the company in November for a sum of $3.5 billion, after his previous bid was put on hold due to the charges. He then abandoned the plan claiming that certain shareholders were asking higher premiums, but still remained the largest shareholder of Amaya Inc., with 17.2% in stocks.
Baazov sale comes about a week after the company announced they’ve restructured a portion of their first-lien loans under a new amendment that also modified a control provision to disable a “current shareholder” to gain control of the company directly or indirectly, as was requested by an unspecified group of the lenders.