On Wednesday, shareholders of Amaya Gaming approved the acquisition of the Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStarsand Full Tilt. Following the go-ahead from shareholders, Amaya Chairman and CEO David Baazov commented, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to extend my appreciation to shareholders for their overwhelming support of the acquisition of Rational Group.”
PocketFives’ news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014!
Amaya is buying the Rational Group for $4.9 billionin a deal that was announced in mid-June. Under its terms, Mark Scheinberg, Rational’s founder and CEO, and “other principles of Oldford Group” will resign. Oldford is the parent company of Rational.
Besides getting the green light from shareholders, Amaya has also received “all required approvals from the gaming regulatory authorities that currently license Rational Group,” according to a press release sent out on Tuesday. Now, with Amaya’s shareholders approving the deal, the gaming company plans “to move expeditiously towards completion of the transaction.”
Amaya’s stock, which is traded in Toronto, reached a 52-week high in recent days, capitalizing on the momentum of the deal. Its stock, which can be found under the symbol “AYA“, was fetching $29.09 CAD per share when we checked in on it on Thursday, about $1.50 off its 52-week high of $30.67.
In the past 52 weeks, shares of AYA have been trading in a relatively wide range of $5.61 to $30.67 CAD. According to Yahoo, Amaya has a market cap of $2.74 billion, about half of the price tag it paid for Amaya.
As outlined in the Financial Post, analysts from Global Maxfin Capital raised their target price for Amaya’s stock from $30 to $35 CAD. According to the Globe and Mail, “The new combined company would have had $1.3 billion in sales and $474.8 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation.”
One of the stickiest points of the Rational Group purchase is Amaya assuming a mound of debt in order to acquire a company that’s much larger. In order to finance the deal, according to the Globe and Mail, Amaya had to take on $2.9 billion in debt, so it was thought that convincing shareholders to do so could be a bit of a challenge.
At the Borgata PocketFives Open this week in Atlantic City, much of the talk centered on PokerStars and/or Full Tilt reentering the US market in New Jersey. Reportedly, the two sites are just a handful of months away from launching in New Jersey and will partner with Resorts Atlantic City. Check out our New Jersey poker community to see what else Garden State players are discussing.
Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest on the acquisition of PokerStars.