Amaya Set To Trade On Nasdaq Exchange

imagesDavid Baazov, Amaya chairman and chief executive officer, Nasdaq

David Baazov: ““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.” (Image: forbesindia.com)

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.

Philip Conneller
Written by
Philip Conneller
As part of the team that launched Bluff Magazine back in 2004, and then as Editor of Bluff Europe, Philip Conneller has (probably) written thousands of articles about poker and has travelled the globe interviewing the greatest players in the world, not to mention some of the sexiest celebrities known to man in some of the world’s sexiest destinations. The highlight of his career, however, was asking Phil Ivey (as a joke) how to play jacks, and emerging none-the-wiser. Philip once won $20,000 with 7-2 offsuit. He has been told off for unwittingly playing Elton John’s piano on two separate occasions, on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean. He became a writer because he is a lousy pianist. He lives in London where he spends his time agonizing about Arsenal football club, yet in Wenger he trusts.

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