Jason Ader, CEO of Amaya shareholder and New York hedge fund SpringOwl, has made it clear that he opposes founder and ex-CEO David Baazov having any future associations with the Amaya itself.
SpringOwl currently holds over 2% of Amaya equity, and their CEO has made efforts to convince the company not to consider Baazov’s bid, suggesting that the company place is 17% corporate equity in a trust, cease paying for his ongoing legal fees against charged by Quebec’s AMF and halt his salary.
Ader’s objection to the bid will mark a further complication for the former CEO’s proposed CAD $6.7 billion acquisition of Amaya, who has had the financing of his CAD $24-per share offer come under question.
In Ader’s letter to Amaya, he stated that it is “time for the company to fully move on from the undue influence” of Baazov. Ader accused Baazov’s bid to be “a continued attempt by a discredited former executive to capitalize on the Amaya situation at other shareholders’ expense.”
Ader further argues that Baazov needs to make his sources of funding more transparent to the company: “the current price seems low and the lack of transparency and the information about the sources of funding raises a lot of questions.”
Ader also reminded Amaya that the former CEO is still under investigation for insider dealing and other concerns which were raised regarding his governance of the company, and which Ader argues has caused severe reputational damage to the PokerStars owner.
Baazov’s representatives have stated: “Mr. Baazov stands behind his offer and intends to continue engaging constructively with Amaya towards a board supported transaction.”