The former CEO and a majority shareholder in the Canadian gambling giant Amaya, David Baazov, has recently sold 12 million of his shares in the company, giving up about two-thirds of his remaining stake. Baazov sold his shares at the price of C$22.31 per share, for a total of C$267.7 million.
Former CEO Losing His Interest in Amaya?
Earlier in March, Baazov disposed of seven million of Amaya shares, earning C$133 million in the process. After that transaction, he was left with a 12% stake in the company. With the most recent sale, his share was reduced to 3.8%.
These moves seem to indicate that the former CEO is no longer interested to play a major role in the company which he helped grow tremendously, securing the $4.9 billion purchase of PokerStars, which was the biggest transactions in the online gambling history.
Not Seeing Eye to Eye with Company Leadership
For a long time, Mr. Baazov had plans to buy Amaya and take the company private. However, the AMF (Canadian securities regulator) put a wedge in those plans, when they launched an investigation to tackle insider trading allegations in connection with the purchase of the Rational Group (PokerStars former owners).
Baazov was a person of interest in that investigation, which led to his resignation from the position of the Amaya CEO. Initially, this didn’t sidetrack Baazov’s plans, as he continued his efforts to find investors who’d help him realize his vision for the company.
However, with his latest attempt falling through, primarily because of the lack of transparency, and Amaya recently adding provisions that would prevent any such future attempts by Mr. Baazov, it became apparent that whatever happens with Amaya in the future, the former CEO wouldn’t be part of that future.
This recent development probably prompted Baazov to start offloading his shares, as he’ll likely be looking to move on to another project. As for Amaya, the company will stay open to other potential investors or strategic partners, which their attempt at a merger with William Hill last year clearly demonstrated.