On Tuesday Amaya shares fell nearly 10 percent at one point and closed 6 percent lower on news that Dubai-based KBC Aldini Capital Ltd. has claimed they have no involvement with Amaya Inc. founder David Baazov’s proposed acquisition and privatization deal for the company valued at some $6.7 billion.
The Globe and Mail, a Canadian news outlet, reported that KBC has filed a complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Amaya Inc. issued a press release from Montreal stating that: “Amaya Inc. (NASDAQ: AYA; TSX: AYA) confirms that it is aware of today’s media report regarding David Baazov’s proposal that he publicly reported on November 14, 2016 . Amaya, with the assistance of its advisors, continues to carefully assess Mr. Baazov’s proposal, including the information contained in the media report, but has no further comment at this time. Amaya intends to provide updates if and when necessary in accordance with applicable securities laws.”
KBC was among four international entities listed in securities filings and press releases last week as an equity investor in Amaya as part of a deal proposed by Baazov to take the company private. The equity portion of the reported deal amounted to $3.65 billion and the filings stated that KBC was to contribute part of that amount.
Baazov took an indefinite leave of absence earlier this year on the heels of an insider trading investigation. He made a cash offer to buy Amaya on Monday last week at a 30.9 pecent premium over the previous day’s trading. Baazov currently owns 17.2 percent of the company.
According to media reports last week Baazov stated in in filings that KBC, Ferdyne Advisory Inc., Head & Shoulders Global Investment Fund SPC, and Goldenway Capital SPC would be contributing funds to the offer.
It’s still unclear how the misunderstanding occurred but Globe and Mail is reporting that the chief executive officer of KBC, Kalani Lal was not aware of who or what Amaya was and they had filed a complaint with the SEC for using “KBC’s name fraudulently.”
An Amaya spokesperson told the paper that, “Prior to entering into any agreement with Mr. Baazov with respect to a transaction, Amaya would conduct appropriate due diligence regarding Mr. Baazov’s financing sources,” in an email.
In February, while Baazov was still Chairman and CEO of Amaya, he expressed interest in taking the company private. In March Quebec securities regulator, Autorité des marchés financiers filed insider trading charges against him and the offer was tabled. Earlier last month the company was briefly in talks with UK-based William Hill in regard to a possible merger, but that deal went nowhere as well.
In a development over the last few minutes Baazov has issued a press release stating that KBC has informed him that the letter he thought came from the company was not from the financing firm after all. However, Baazov stated that he plans to pursue the acquisition without KBC and will seek replacement financing.