Amaya Gaming is to buy Rational Group; the world’s largest poker business and owner and operator of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands, from Oldford Group for US$4.9bn.
The deal will result in Amaya becoming the world’s largest publicly-traded online gaming company. The online poker platforms PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are collectively the world’s most popular and profitable online poker brands with more than 85m registered players on desktop and mobile devices.
The 2013 EBITDA for Amaya and Oldford Group came in at $1.3bn, $474.8m and $473.8m, respectively. For 2014, they are projecting pro forma adjusted EBITDA of between $600 and $640m.
The Transaction combines complementary businesses with minimal overlap: Isle of Man-headquartered Rational Group’s B2C poker business including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, live poker tours and events, and online and TV poker programming; and Montreal-headquartered Amaya’s B2B interactive and physical casino and lottery gaming solutions.
Under the terms of the Transaction, Oldford Group shareholders led by Mark Scheinberg, founder and Chief Executive Officer, will dispose of their shares to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amaya. Mr. Scheinberg and other principals of OIdford Group will resign from all positions with Oldford Group and its subsidiaries on completion of the Transaction.
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.