News Column

PokerStars boss mulls secondary London listing

July 7, 2014

MICHAEL BOW



THE BOSS of the world's biggest-listed online gambling group yesterday flagged his interest in a secondary listing in London or New York.


David Baazov, chief executive and chairman of Canadian-quoted Amaya Gaming, said the business was plotting a dual listing in future.


He added he was weighing floating shares either on the London Stock Exchange or an exchange in New York, although no decision had been taken.


"There will be a dual listing," he confirmed in an interview with the Sunday Times yesterday.


The group currently has a primary listing on the Toronto stock exchange with a market cap of C$2bn having listed on the exchange four years ago.


London is a hotbed of listed gambling firms which trade under the FTSE gambling sub-sector, including Bwin.party, 888.com, Bet365, as well as established bricks-and-mortar players like Ladbrokes and William Hill.


Amaya Gaming made a dramatic acquisition last month by taking control of online poker sites PokerStars and Full Tilt in a $4.9bn (2.9bn) deal, transforming it into the biggest online gambling site in the world.


The deal - which still needs to be signed off by shareholders - marked a forceful show of intent by Amaya to become a dominant force in the global online gambling market, despite being just ten years old.


PokerStars and Full Tilt, which were owned by Oldford Group prior to the acquisition, have two-thirds of the online poker market outside the United States and about 85m users.


The deal, which was announced in June, was backed by blue chip debt amounting to $2.9bn from institutions such as Barclays Blackstone and Deutsche Bank.


PokerStars has faced problems with obtaining licenses in the US in the past although analysts have since suggested Amaya's takeover could help the site obtain access to the US.


For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel



Source: City A.M. (UK)


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