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Nov 23

David Baazov confirms Dubai-based firm not backing Amaya bid

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Amaya Inc. Founder David Baazov says he’s planning to continue pursuing a takeover of the online gambling company he used to run, even after confirming he’s down a financier. 

In a press release Wednesday afternoon, Baazov said Dubai-based KBC Aldini Capital has informed him a letter purportedly offering equity backing was not in fact from the investment firm, and was delivered without KBC’s knowledge or consent. KBC had earlier told The Globe and Mail it had no knowledge of Amaya or the offer to help finance Baazov’s US$6.7-billion offer for the company. Baazov said he intends to secure replacement financing.

KBC, along with Ferdyne Advisory Inc and Hong Kong-based firms Head & Shoulders Global Investment Fund and Goldenway Capital SPC, were the four firms listed as equity backers in an early warning report filed with Canadian regulators on November 14. The filing shows the four supposed backers were slated to contribute US$3.65 billion to the bid.

Amaya itself issued a short statement on the subject late Tuesday, stating “it is aware” of the report, and “continues to carefully assess Mr. Baazov’s proposal” but has no further comment at this time.

Baazov has long courted controversy with the company he founded. In March, Quebec’s securities regulator filed five charges against him, alleging he engaged in market manipulation of the stock price. Baazov has pled not guilty to all charges.