Say Bye-bye to Baazov, Shareholder Urges Amaya

Posted on: December 7, 2016, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: December 7, 2016, 01:00h.

Jason Ader Urges Amaya to Ditch Baazov
New York money man Jason Ader says David Baazov’s bid lacks transparency and undervalues Amaya. He says the company should consider freeing itself from the “undue influence” of a “discredited former exec.” (Image: The Telegraph)

Activist Investor Jason Ader, who owns one percent of Amaya Inc. through his company SpringOwl Asset Management, has called on the PokerStars parent to forget about David Baazov.

Baazov, the former chairman and CEO of Amaya, launched a $4.1 billion bid to take the company private several weeks ago. But in a letter to the board, seen by Bloomberg, Ader says the offer needs to be higher and Baazov’s financial sources need to be more transparent.

He labelled the bid ““a continued attempt by a discredited former executive to capitalize on the Amaya situation at other shareholders’ expense.

“If we have a credible bid with transparency, then we should consider it,” Ader told Bloomberg on Monday. “But the current price seems low and the lack of transparency and the information about the sources of funding raises a lot of questions.”

“If I were making a $4 billion bid and would want the shareholders to take me seriously, I would provide much more transparency to the shareholders,” said Ader, adding that Amaya “needs to get back to growing the business.”

Bid is “Suspicious”

Baazov was forced to resubmit his official filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission after one of his stated financial backers on the bid, Dubai-based KBC Aldini Capital, denied having any knowledge of the deal or having even heard of Amaya.

It has been speculated Baazov may have been misled by a financial intermediary pretending to represent KBC.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the new filing guaranteed increased financial commitment from two of his original backers, Hong Kong-based Head and Shoulders Global Investment Fund SPC and Goldenway Capital SPC. But according to Ader, the fact that these entities are not well known makes the offer seem “more suspicious.”

“Undue Influence”

Ader also blames Baazov for damaging Amaya’s reputation after he was charged by financial authorities in Montreal on five counts of securities fraud and insider trading. Baazov has pleaded not guilty to these charges and will have his day in court. Nevertheless, s time to shake off “the undue influence” of Baazov, said Ader in his letter.

“Mr Baazov stands behind his offer and intends to continue engaging constructively with Amaya towards a board supported transaction,” Baazov spokesman Riyaz Lalani told Bloomberg in response to the news.

“The Board and management welcome input from all of our shareholders and look forward to continuing to actively engage with them,” said Amaya.