David Baazov Offers $3.48-billion For Pokerstars


Raises $3.65 Billion from several investment funds.

On the back of respectable third quarter results from Amaya Inc.,  early reports suggest former chief executive officer, David Baazov, has made a $3.48-billion acquisition offer on the company, The Globe and Mail (TGM) reports.

The offer of $24-per-share equates to an almost 31 percent increase on Amaya’s closing price on Friday of $18.34, TGM pointed out, with Baazov having secured $3.65 billion in financial backing from several unnamed investment funds.

Key performance indicators reported by Amaya Inc. for the third quarter period earlier today included:

–    A 9.5 percent increase in total revenues to $270.85 million (Q3/2015: $247.3 million)

–    Real-money online poker revenues of $196.8 million, a decrease of 1.3 percent which, despite a year-over-year decline, was a strong improvement on the 7.8 percent decline recorded by the firm in July.

    Amaya attributes narrowing the gap to its focus on recreational poker, changes in its loyalty program and tweeks to its rake structure.

–    Real-money online poker revenues and real-money online casino and sportsbook combined revenues represented approximately 73 percent and 24 percent of total revenues for the quarter, respectively, compared to approximately 81 percent and 15 percent for the prior year period.

–    Total combined Quarterly Real-Money Active Uniques (QAU’s) were around 2.4 million, an increase of 5 percent year-over-year.

–    Of those total QAU’s,  approximately 2.3 million played online poker during the quarter, an increase of around 3 percent year-over-year.

–    Amaya reported 486,000 QAU’s regarding its online casino offer, a 40 percent increase year-over-year, saying it estimates its player base to be one of the largest among its competitors.

–    Amaya’s emerging online sportsbook offerings had approximately 232,000 QAU’s, representing a significant increase year-over-year.

–    Total Quarterly Net Yield (QNY) was $111, an increase of 4.2 percent year-over-year.

–    Customer Registrations increased by 1.9 million to approximately 105.5 million at the end of the quarter.

In closing, Amaya updated its previous 2016 full year guidance ranges, to revenues of $1,137 to $1,157 million; Adjusted EBITDA of $500 to $510 million; Adjusted Net Earnings of $344 to $354 million; and
Adjusted Net Earnings per Diluted Share of $1.78 to $1.83.

“As we have concluded the strategic review process, we are excited to continue focusing on improving the company and our operations. We continued to execute on our four strategic priorities during the quarter as evidenced by our strong performance,” Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of Amaya, said.

“I am particularly pleased with our core poker business as we believe the proactive changes we made to our poker ecosystem have both substantially offset and began to reverse certain negative trends facing that business. We plan to continue leveraging this positive momentum into our casino and sportsbook offerings as we focus on becoming the world’s favorite online gaming destination and maximizing winning moments for all of our customers.”