Amaya Becomes The Stars Group after Planned Rebranding

Canadian online gambling giant Amaya announced earlier today that it has completed its planned rebranding as The Stars Group and the relocation of its headquarters from Montreal to Toronto. It also revealed a new corporate logo and launched a new website to mark the beginning of the new era in its development.

The company has received the necessary approval from the responsible regulators and will start trading on the Global Select Market under the “TSG” ticker symbol and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the “TSGI” ticker symbol as from today.

Amaya confirmed its planned name change in May. The company is best known for being parent company of The Rational Group, which in turn owns the PokerStars and BetStars online gambling brands. PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker operator, has established itself as the Canadian giant’s main business and it explained previously that its rebranding as The Stars Group would mainly aim to reflect the success of that particular brand and the future growth of its sister BetStars brand.

Many believe that Amaya has undertaken that important change in order to distance itself from its David Baazov past. The businessman, who found the company in the 2000s and occupied executive posts for years, is currently the subject of an insider trading investigation in relation to the $4.9-billion deal for the acquisition of The Rational Group back in the summer of 2014.

Last February, Mr. Baazov announced that he would make an offer to buy Amaya and take the company private. However, he had to drop those plans as he was informed about the ongoing Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec’s securities regulator) investigation.

The announcement about Amaya’s completed rebranding and relocation comes at a time a Hong Kong businessman is increasing his stake in the Canadian gambling company with every day passing. Hao Tang, who, according to his Bloomberg profile, has more than a decade of experience in asset management, investment banking, and mining enterprise management, currently holds more than a 15% stake in Amaya after a shares shopping spree that started back in March 2017. In July only, Mr. Tang acquired 4,000,000 shares in the company for more than C$88.9 million.

Here it is important to note that according to multiple media reports, Mr. Tang is the person behind Goldenway Capital, a company that was revealed as one of the financial backers to support Mr. Baazov failed acquisition bid back in November 2016.

It should also be pointed out that Mr. Tang began buying Amaya shares shortly after Mr. Baazov sold off 7 million shares in the company in March, followed by 12 million more shares in early April. In other words, Goldenway Capital’s interest in buying Amaya has not diminished or disappeared completely after Mr. Baazov’s failed offer.

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