Amaya Gaming Group Shares Soar Following Purchase AnnouncementPublished on June 14th, 2014 5:11 am EST
Shares of Amaya Gaming Group Inc (traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada) soared on Friday after their deal to purchase the parent company of Rational Group Ltd. (Oldford Group Limited) was officially announced. Rational Group Ltd. is the owner and operator of two of the world's largest online poker sites, Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.
Investors cheered the news on Friday, sending shares of Amaya Gaming up nearly 42% on the day. Volume was extremely heavy on Friday as nearly 10 million shares of Amaya Gaming Group (AYA.TO) changed hands, roughly 15x the average daily volume.
The $4.9 billion USD purchase price for Oldford Group Limited is going to be financed via a mixture of loans, the issuance of convertible shares and cash. According to Bloomberg.com, the deal will make Mark Scheinberg (who currently serves as the CEO for the Rational Group), one of the world's youngest billionaires. Bloomberg estimates that Scheinberg will end up taking in more than $3.6 billion from the transaction.
The deal will include Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker, the European Poker Tour and any other asset that the Oldford Group owns.
The general feeling towards this deal seems to be that of cautious optimism.
There are some legitimate worries that the customer-friendly and detail oriented approach that was taken by the Rational Group will be compromised under new ownership. With the Amaya Gaming Group being a publicly traded company, there is some worry that changes could be made to benefit the purchasing company's bottom line to the detriment of players on both sites.
The big benefit of the Amaya purchase, of course, is that it will likely mean that Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker will finally be granted access to markets in the United States such as New Jersey.
Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms