It's official! The Amaya Gaming Group Inc. and PokerStars' and Full Tilt Poker's parent company have closed a deal that will make Amaya Gaming the largest publicly-traded online gaming entity in the world.
Amaya and Oldford Group Limited have put together a deal that gives Amaya legal right to all issued and outstanding shares of Oldford Group for an aggregate purchase price of $4.9 billion. In short, that means that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have been sold to Amaya.
PokerStars issued a press release on Thursday: "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. Additionally, Amaya will provide an extensive selection of its online casino games to expand the nascent Full Tilt Poker casino platform. Amaya intends to strongly support Rational Group’s growth initiatives in new gaming verticals, including casino, sportsbook and social gaming, and new geographies."
According to the press release, "Rational Group’s executive management team will be retained and online poker services provided by PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will be unaffected by the Transaction, with players continuing to enjoy uninterrupted access to their gaming experience."
Included in the press release: "The online poker platforms PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are collectively the world’s most popular and profitable online poker brands with more than 85 million registered players on desktop and mobile devices ... (and) the Transaction will result in Amaya becoming the world’s largest publicly-traded online gaming company."
“This is a transformative acquisition for Amaya, strengthening our core B2B operations with a consumer online powerhouse that creates a scalable global platform for growth,” said David Baazov, CEO of Amaya. “Mark Scheinberg pioneered the online poker industry, building a remarkable business and earning the trust of millions of poker players by delivering the industry’s best game experiences, customer service and online security. Working with the experienced executive team at Rational Group, Amaya will continue that tradition of excellence and accelerate growth into new markets and verticals.”
Rational Group Founder and CEO Mark Scheinberg said: “I am incredibly proud of the business Isai and I have built over the last 14 years, creating the world’s biggest poker company and a leader in the iGaming space. Our achievements and this transaction are an affirmation of the hard work, expertise and dedication of our staff, which I am confident will continue to drive the company’s success. The values and integrity which have shaped this company are deeply ingrained in its DNA. David Baazov has a strong vision for the future of the Rational Group which will lead the company to new heights.”
All of the transaction details of this acquisition can be found in the full press release.