Amaya Founder Finds Additional Hong Kong Funds for Takeover

Updated on
  • Baazov says Goldenway, Head and Shoulders boost funding
  • Funds step up after Dubai group says it hadn’t agreed to bid

Amaya Inc. founder David Baazov said two Hong Kong funds have agreed to boost their support for his $4.1 billion bid to take the gaming company private, replacing a Dubai investor whose backing for the deal was given without its consent.

Baazov has “binding equity commitment letters” from Head and Shoulders Global Investment Fund SPC and Goldenway Capital SPC for $3.45 billion to finance his bid for the PokerStars owner, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday.

The Hong Kong-based investors are filling the void left by Dubai-based KBC Aldini Capital Ltd., which said this week its purported backing for the deal was given without the firm’s knowledge or consent, throwing Baazov’s offer into question. KBC isn’t part of the new equity financing, Baazov said in the filing. The statement also doesn’t mention Ferdyne Advisory Inc., the British Virgin Island backer cited in Baazov’s Nov. 14 press release announcing the offer.

The two Hong Kong-based firms, which were part of the initial commitment, are dedicating capital to a special purpose vehicle led by Baazov to buy the Pointe-Claire, Quebec-based company for C$24 a share, the filing said. Amaya rose 2.3 percent to C$19.22 at 9:45 a.m. in Toronto, for a market value of C$2.79 billion ($2.1 billion).

“We continue to support David Baazov," Stanley Choi, chairman of Head and Shoulders Financial Group, said in a phone interview from Hong Kong, adding that he’s “not at all” concerned about what happened in the past week with KBC. He declined to comment further on his firm’s increased commitment or the structure of the transaction.

Baazov’s Toronto-based advisers are Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. and Goodmans LLP.

Amaya wasn’t immediately available to comment. Baazov’s deal to take Amaya private is worth about $6.7 billion including debt. Baazov is Amaya’s largest shareholder, with a 17 percent stake.