Amaya acquisition of PokerStars owners get gaming regulatory approval

MONTREAL – Amaya Gaming Group Inc. says its proposed US$4.9-billion bid to buyer the world’s largest online poker company, operator of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, has received approval from the gaming regulatory authorities.

The Montreal-based company also says it has received conditional approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to list warrants and preferred shares issued in relation to a planned financing.

Amaya (TSX:AYA) shareholders will vote Wednesday on some aspects of the planned financing at its annual and special meeting.

The company has agreed to buy the Oldford Group, parent company of the Rational Group, whose poker brands have more than 85 million registered players.

The deal followed a year-long courtship that is expected to ease Rational’s entry into the United States, where it has been under a cloud because of the legal problems facing executive Isai Scheinberg.

The Rational Group, based on the Isle of Man off the coast of Britain, is also a producer of live poker events and poker programming for television and online audiences. It employs more than 1,700 people globally.