The Amaya board recently met to discuss the future of the company but decided to keep some of the topics discussed under wraps.
Although Annual General Meetings (AGMs) aren’t usually something that gets the poker community talking, Amaya’s latest meeting was significant for two reasons.
The first reason the AGM is noteworthy is because it’s the first since David Baazov took a voluntary leave of absence.
Baazov Absent from Amaya AGM
Baazov became embroiled in an insider trading scandal back in March after the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) investigated the certain financial trades that took place just before Amaya purchased PokerStars for $4.9 billion.
After the AMF filed five charges against Baazov, the Amaya CEO decided to step into the shadows in order to preserve the integrity of the company and, importantly, smooth the way for a potential takeover.
Prior to his legal issues with the AMF, Baazov stated his intention to take control of Amaya with a bid rumored to be $2.8 billion.
While the exact details of his proposal were never made public, it appears as though Baazov’s bid is still on the table along with those from other interested parties. In fact, this is the second reason Amaya’s recent AGM has made the headlines.
Takeover Talks in Private
Detailed in the press release that followed the meeting, Amaya acknowledged that a specially appointed committee will now be reviewing the state of the company and, importantly, who the new owner could be.
“While there can be no assurance that this process will result in a transaction of any kind, the Special Committee is focused on completing its review of strategic alternatives in a timely manner,” read the release.
However, aside from giving the general public a hint that a selection of takeover bids are being considered, Amaya declined to divulge any more information. What’s also interesting is that non-shareholders and media members were actually excluded from the meeting.
Although the exact reasons for the exclusion is unclear, it’s likely the situation with Baazov and confidentiality clauses attached to any takeover bids prompted the move.
Given the ongoing investigation by the AMF and the intense speculation the takeover process is likely to attract, it’s easy to see why Amaya is trying to keep the details of the meeting as private as possible.
However, as with all things of this nature, it’s unlikely things remain a mystery for too much longer, so we’ll just have to sit tight for now and see what the future holds for Amaya and, therefore, PokerStars.