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Shocker: Amaya Gaming to acquire PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands for $4.9-billion

Quebec’s Amaya will become the world’s largest publicly traded on-line gaming company. After being halted today when up 17.1% to $14.08, Amaya Gaming (TSX:AYA) this evening delivered transformative news.

Amaya says it has reached a deal to acquire Oldford Group Ltd., the parent company of Rational Group Ltd., the world’s largest poker business and owner and operator of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for a whopping $4.9-billion.

Amaya says the transaction will result in it becoming the world’s largest publicly traded on-line gaming company. The brands together boast more than 85 million registered players on desktop and mobile devices.

CEO David Baazov commented on the purchase.

“This is a transformative acquisition for Amaya, strengthening our core B2B operations with a consumer on-line powerhouse that creates a scalable global platform for growth,” he said. “Mark Scheinberg pioneered the on-line poker industry, building a remarkable business and earning the trust of millions of poker players by delivering the industry’s best game experiences, customer service and on-line security. Working with the experienced executive team at Rational Group, Amaya will continue that tradition of excellence and accelerate growth into new markets and verticals.”

Oldford Group posted revenue of $976-million and $1.1-billion, respectively, and adjusted EBITDA of $342-million and $420-million, in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The purchase will be funded by a $2.1-billion senior secured credit facilities, underwritten by Deutsche Bank AG, New York branch, Barclays Bank and Macquarie Capital (USA), a $2.1-billion senior secured credit facilities, consisting of a $2.0-billion first-lien term loan and a $100-million revolving credit facility fully underwritten by Deutsche Bank AG, New York branch, Barclays Bank PLC and Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc from the same group, $1-billion to be raised through the issuance of convertible preferred shares on a private placement basis at an initial conversion price of $24 (Canadian) per convertible preferred share and another $500-million in convertible subscription receipts.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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