The 27th of May was a good day for Amaya Inc. It was the day its subsidiary, PokerStars, signed perhaps the most marketable man in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, to do its bidding.
Amaya Inc. also announced that it has achieved a long term goal by receiving a listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The company said it expects to begin trading on the Nasdaq’s Global Select Market on June 8 under the AYA ticker symbol.
Amaya has traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange since 2013, but Nasdaq, as a top-tier trading platform, befits the company’s global ambition and newfound status as the biggest publicly traded online gambling company in the world.
It’s not known whether the new listing is a strategy for raising further funds (to pay Ronaldo’s wages, perhaps) or to provide additional liquidity for shareholders to trade.
Listing a “Milestone”
“Our listing on Nasdaq is an important milestone for Amaya and a testament to the tremendous progress we have made over our five years as a public company,” said Amaya chairman and chief executive officer David Baazov. “We anticipate that the Nasdaq listing will provide greater visibility and better liquidity for our stock and help broaden our shareholder base.”
Amaya recently posted first quarter revenues of CAD$340.1 million ($283.5 million), its second posting since its $4.9 billion leveraged buy-out of the Oldford Group, PokerStars’ previous owner.
Those figures represent a whopping 2,549 percent increase over their revenues from Q1 2014, the overwhelming majority of this coming from PokerStars.
Amaya still has some way to go in order to realize its 2015 predictions, however; a figure of $1 billion was forecast, and considering that Q1 revenues are usually much higher than Q2 and Q3, the company has some work to do.
Insider Trading Investigation
As such, it has begun off-loading its old B2B assets in order to concentrate on its new core B2C offerings.
Amaya agreed to sell slot manufacturer Cadillac Jack to Apollo Capital Management for CAD $476 million and expects to raise $28 million from the sale of a 60 per cent stake in its lottery and gaming business, Diamond Game Enterprises.
The company has also agreed to the sale of Chartwell and Cryptologic to NYX Gaming Group Limited.
News of the Nasdaq listing comes despite an ongoing investigation into alleged insider trading in the run up to Amaya’s acquisition of the Oldford Group.
Amaya’s Canadian offices were raided by Federal Canadian police and provincial financial market regulators in December in relation to suspicious trading last summer, when the company’s share price almost doubled in the week’s prior to the announcement of the takeover.
Amaya has said it is cooperating fully with the investigation.