PokerStars' owner Amaya says Baazov stepped down, profit beats

Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:37am EDT
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(Reuters) - Amaya Inc (AYA.TO: Quote) AYA.O, owner of gambling websites PokerStars and Full Tilt, said Chief Executive David Baazov, who was charged with insider trading by Quebec's securities regulator, stepped down on Thursday.

Amaya, which reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as it added more customers, said it was continuing to review its strategic options.

The company said it was in talks with "a number of parties" and some of these talks have progressed.

Amaya said it had cut expenses in its London, Sydney and Dublin offices, and expects some job cuts this year.

The company said on Friday interim CEO Rafi Ashkenazi replaces Baazov.

Montreal-based Amaya said in March, soon after Baazov was charged, that he was taking an indefinite paid leave of absence.

The regulator brought charges against Baazov about two months after Amaya said it had received a non-binding proposal from him to take the company private.

A special committee of directors at Amaya will continue to "work with respect to the investigation of allegations" made by the regulator, the company said.

The charges followed an investigation into Baazov and other executives in 2014 for trading in Amaya's stock ahead of the company's $4.9 billion takeover of PokerStars-owner Rational Group.   Continued...

David Baazov, president and chief executive officer of gaming company Amaya Inc, looks on prior to their annual general meeting in Montreal, June 22, 2015. Reuters/Christinne Muschi