Former Amaya CEO, David Baazov announced that he cut stake in the company as he sold nearly US$100 million worth of stock.
Canada.- David Baazov, Amaya’s founder and CEO up to March 2016, dumped seven million shares of stock yet still owns over 17 million more. Baazov was charged last year with insider trading and will face fraud charges on a trial next November in Quebec court. He still holds stake that represents 12 percent of the company.
Former “king of online gambling,” as Forbes once called him, purchased PokerStars under Amaya for US$4.9 billion in 2014 and unsuccesfully tried to take the company private.
Amaya’s sotck on the NASDAQ went up seven percent to nearly US$15 right after his announcement which came barely days after the company reported that it was trying to save about US$15 million annually by restructuring some of its debt. In a press release, it stated that the move would “remove the ability of a certain current shareholder to directly or indirectly acquire control of Amaya.”
Baazov will stand trial in November over inider trading charges that were filed against him by Quebec’s securities regulator last year. He will also face fraud charges as, according to the court, he’s charged for “aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya Inc, and communicating privileged information.”
Indictments arise from an investigation into Amaya’s purchase of PokerStars and was the largest insider trading inquiry in Canadian history.