Amaya Gaming Acquires PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker for $4.9b

Canada’s Amaya Gaming Group has completed a takeover deal with online gaming giant Rational Group according to a statement released today.

Amaya will acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of the Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, for an aggregate purchase price of $4.9 billion.

The Financial Post, Bloomberg and Businessweek were among the outlets that broke the news about the takeover before details were finalized in the release.

The transaction will make Amaya the world's largest publicly-traded online gaming company and may present an opportunity for PokerStars to return to the US online poker market.

Oldford Group shareholders (parent company of Rational Group) led by Mark Scheinberg will also dispose of their shares and resign from all positions upon completion of the deal.

According to the release Amaya "believes the Transaction will expedite the entry of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker into regulated markets in which Amaya already holds a footprint, particularly the U.S.A."

Amaya’s stocks have soared since the report surfaced earlier today.

First Reports of Amaya/PokerStars Deal in May

Full Tilt Logo
Full Tilt Poker would also be involved. first reported that Amaya Gaming was in talks with the Rational Gaming Group, which owns PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, back in May. speculated it may be a reverse takeover in the hopes of getting PokerStars back in the US market or perhaps some sort of merger.

Amaya Gaming’s stock price was halted today at C$14.08 after rising 32.84%.

PokerStars may still be blocked from future online poker bills proposed in California, New York and Pennsylvania due to bad actor clauses but it would likely be able to re-apply for a license in New Jersey.

More details here.

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