Amaya Inc. CEO David Baazov has been charged Wednesday in an insider trading and stock manipulation, by Quebec securities regulators.
Baazov, president, board chairman and a significant shareholder of the world’s largest online gaming company, was charged alongside Benjamin Ahdoot, Yoel Altman, Diocles Capital inc, Sababa Consulting inc. and 2374879 Ontario inc.
More specifically, David Baazov, president, CEO, board chairman and a significant shareholder of Amaya inc., is facing five charges, in particular 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.
Benjamin Ahdoot and Yoel Altman are facing, respectively, four and six charges, in particular for trading while in possession of privileged information and influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc.
Diocles Capital inc. is facing five charges of trading while in possession of privileged information and influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc. Sababa Consulting inc. and 2374879 Ontario inc. are facing a total of three charges for trading while in possession of privileged information.
Based on the AMF’s investigation, the respondents are alleged in particular to have used, between December 2013 and June 2014, privileged information pertaining to the securities of Amaya inc. for trading purposes. As well, a few of the respondents are alleged to have conspired to commit some of the offences.
“We have made suppressing illegal insider trading and market manipulation a top priority, as this type of conduct profoundly affects public confidence and the integrity of our markets, ” said AMF President and CEO Louis Morisset.
David Baazov issued the following statement:
Yesterday I was served notice that I would be charged by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) alleging that I engaged in market manipulation of Amaya Inc. (“Amaya”) shares and that I unlawfully provided non-public information to third parties prior to Amaya’s acquisition of the Rational Group Ltd. in 2014.
These allegations are false and I intend to vigorously contest these accusations. While I am deeply disappointed with the AMF’s decision, I am highly confident I will be found innocent of all charges.
I have always been proud of my reputation for personal integrity and ethical business conduct. As the founder, President and CEO of Amaya, I want to provide my personal assurance to all our of stakeholders, including our employees in Canada , the US, and Europe , our more than 100 million playing members, vendors, and our public security holders that I am as confident as ever in Amaya’s business operations and future prospects.
Finally, on February 1, 2016 , I announced my intention to make an all-cash proposal to acquire Amaya at a purchase price presently estimated at CDN$21.00 per common share. I made this approach to the board of directors (“the Board”) of Amaya prior to any knowledge that the AMF would be bringing any allegations against me. While I have no further comment on the bid process at this time, I am still committed to working with my investor group and the Board to consummate a successful transaction, which I believe is in the best interests of shareholders.
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