Blackstone Group boosts ownership in Amaya Inc

U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group LP has boosted its ownership stake in online gambling group Amaya Inc, local media reports.

Through its credit arm, GSO Capital Partners LP, the group acquired 11 million common shares of the online poker company, at US$0.01 cent per share.

GSO said the shares were acquired for investment purposes and to enable GSO to exercise voting rights attached to such common shares, including in connection with any transaction or other matter submitted for shareholder approval.”

Amaya’s chairman and CEO, David Baazov back in February announced he was looking to take the world’s largest online poker company private in a $2.8 billion dollar bid.

The CEO, who has taken a temporary leave of absence as a result of insider trading allegations, said he, together with a group of investors intends to make an all-cash proposal to Acquire Amaya at a purchase price estimated at C$21.00 (US$15.07) per common share.

Baazov remains on the board, which has appointed its lead independent director, Dave Gadhia, as interim chairman and Rafi Ashkenazi, the CEO of Amaya’s operating business – Rational Group –as the interim CEO of the company.