A new ‘King of Online Gambling’
2014 was a very successful year for Amaya Gaming Group CEO David Baazov as he succeeded in acquiring the privately held poker provider and owner of Full Tilt, Rational Group. Thanks to this putsch he received a nickname a new ‘king of online gambling’ from Forbes magazine in December.
Forbes Staff Editor Nathan Vardi gives a detailed review of Baazov’s preparations and actions during several months before the coup. He reviews the negotiations between Amaya Group CEO and the investor Blackstone CEO who would invest $1 billion in the acquisition deal, its biggest ever investment commitment.
The purchase was completed in August and Amaya Gaming received the Rational Group for $4.9 billion, which is a rather huge sum for igaming industry. The founder of Amaya Group Baazov headed the acquisition by selling nearly $1.7 billion of Amaya Gaming stock at $18.
The deal with online poker (check video poker) leader the Rational Group for $4.9 billion is considered the hugest success of 2014 by Forbes magazine. The income of Amaya Gaming Group comprised only $150 million and $7 per share at the beginning of 2014. The Rational Group received the income of $1.1 billion. So David Baazov thought that the acquisition was a shallow hope for them. But thanks to pure determination, success and intellect Baazov succeeded in getting the necessary money for the deal, and even managed to persuade PokerStars owners the Scheinberg Family to give their company to his little famous firm Amaya Gaming.
The share price of Amaya Gaming raised from $7 to $28.50 ($38.78 in November) and it took the leading position since it purchased the Rational Group. Amays Group CEO proved his negotiating skills and got 12% stake in the company (i.e., $800m).
Amaya gaming is thinking about developing its sphere of interest, and igaming world is waiting for the sports betting and casino services from this company.