Thursday, April 9, 2015 : AMAYA AGAIN CLAIMS IT HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG
Online gambling group reacts to publication of documents involved in securities regulator enquiry.
The Montreal-based online gambling group Amaya Gaming has again issued a statement protesting its innocence following the publication of redacted search warrant documentation associated with an enquiry into trading around the company's $4.9 billion acquisition of the Rational Group being carried out by the AMF – Quebec's securities regulator.
In a further statement this week Amaya observed: “The release of the redacted documents presents nothing new to Amaya. Amaya has previously received the redacted affidavit and reviewed its limited contents and did not contest the court’s decision [to allow publication].
"It will wait to see the actual unredacted affidavit, but it does not believe there is a reasonable basis for proceedings against Amaya or its employees.”
In applying for a search warrant which it later executed on several companies (see previous InfoPowa reports) last year, the regulator claimed that its investigation indicated that "…certain individuals in possession of privileged information transmitted that information to several people. These people then took advantage of that information and traded on Amaya shares.”
However, Amaya's compliance adviser, retired police Chief Superintendent Ben Soave, has claimed:
“We have thoroughly reviewed the relevant internal activities around [Amaya's] acquisition of Oldford Group [parent of Rational Group] and have found no evidence of any violation of Canadian securities laws or regulations including tipping and insider trading by CEO David Baazov and CFO Daniel Sebag.
"Additionally, the company has not been provided with any evidence that any executives, directors, or employees violated any securities laws or regulations.”
Amaya also pointed out that so far the investigation has not triggered any charges or proceedings.
Our readers will recall that the AMF search parties visited Canadian investment bank Canaccord Genuity, and a subsidiary of Canadian insurance company Manulife Financial in addition to the Amaya head office.
The online gambling group's ability to respond to speculation on the widely publicised issue is constrained by the fact that some documents associated with the enquiry have been sealed by the court, which means that Amaya cannot safely comment on aspects of the documents relating to individuals.
The company has yet to see an unredacted version of the search warrant affidavit and those named within it.
In its latest statement Amaya has again emphasised that throughout the investigation it has been fully cooperative with the AMF, and that it has shared with investigators the considerable list of organisations and individuals involved in what was a major and complicated acquisition involving government agencies, justice officials, gaming regulators, the stock exchange, banks, funds, law firms and consultants.