|Amaya Gaming Group Inc. - AYA.t is a leading provider of technology-based solutions, products and services in the global gaming and interactive entertainment industries.|
Amaya owns gaming businesses and brands including PokerStars, Full Tilt, the European Poker Tour, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. These brands collectively form the largest poker business in the world.
|The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that Amaya is severing all ties with David Baazov, its founder and former chief executive officer, roughly five months after he was charged by Quebec's securities regulator with illegal insider trading. The Globe's Niall McGee writes that the exit of Mr. Baazov came a little more than two years after the company announced its $4.9-billion (U.S.) acquisition of the owner of on-line gambling site PokerStars. Amaya announced on Friday that Mr. Baazov had resigned, but it gave no specific reason for his departure. In late March, Mr. Baazov went on an indefinite paid leave of absence after charges were brought against him in Quebec. He is facing five charges, including allegedly aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing the price of Amaya's shares and passing on privileged information. None of the allegations has been proved in court. A Toronto securities lawyer said Mr. Baazov's resignation will help Amaya repair its public image, as it will now be able to slowly distance itself from the allegations. Canaccord Genuity acted as an investment banker and share distributor for Amaya at the time of the PokerStars transaction.|
David Baazov had said he was making a formal offer for Amaya
| Rafi Ashkenazi, who was appointed as Amaya's interim chief executive officer in March, was named Mr. Baazov's permanent replacement. Mr. Baazov previously decided against continuing on the company's board. An Amaya spokesman said Mr. Baazov remains involved in an effort by a group of investors that has indicated an interest in acquiring the company. The company also said Friday that talks with various unidentified parties are progressing.|
Mr. Baazov has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including influencing or attempting to influence the market price of Amaya shares and with communicating privileged information. The case against him, two other people and three companies, is due in a Quebec court on Sept. 7. Amaya beat analyst expectations in the second quarter.