March 31, 2015 / 1:12 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Amaya posts huge jump in adjusted profit; seeks Nasdaq listing

3 Min Read

(Adds CEO comment, interest in Nasdaq listing, expansion plans)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, March 31 (Reuters) - Amaya Inc, which recently acquired online gambling sites PokerStars and Full Tilt, reported a near eight-fold rise in quarterly adjusted earnings on Tuesday, and outlined plans to seek a secondary listing on the Nasdaq.

The Montreal-based company said it plans to win new clients and supplement growth from its core poker business through expansion into other areas such as sportsbetting, social gaming and fantasy sports.

"We anticipate the launch of sports betting in certain markets in the coming days with an expansion across the network to take place through the first half of 2015," said Amaya Chief Executive David Baazov, in a statement.

Amaya said it currently plans to execute on this strategy via both organic development and strategic acquisitions.

Earlier this month, online gambling firm Bwin.party said talks about selling all, or part of its business had become more serious. Media reports last year had named Amaya as one of the parties interested in the poker and sports betting company.

Amaya said it currently anticipates providing an update on the status of its Nasdaq listing application in the near future.

The company, which has pivoted to focus on the business-to-consumer market from the business-to-business segment, said it will provide updates on plans for our other B2B assets in the near future.

On Monday, Amaya said it has agreed to sell its Cadillac Jack subsidiary that makes slot machines and electronic bingo games for casinos to an affiliate of private equity firm Apollo Global Management for C$476 million ($375 million).

Amaya had put the business on the block back in October, a short while after it had announced its $4.9 billion takeover of Rational Group, operator of online gambling website PokerStars, just as several U.S. states have begun to move on legislation to legalize online gambling.

Last week, Amaya announced it plans to spin out and list its Diamond Game subsidiary into a new entity dubbed Innova Gaming. Diamond Game designs, develops, and markets games mainly for the North American lottery industry.

Amaya said its adjusted profits rose to C$85.7 million ($67 million), or 42 Canadian cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from C$11.1 million, or 12 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue rose nearly 10 times to C$368.6 million.

$1 = 1.2740 Canadian dollars Additional reporting by Anet Josline Pinto and Manya Venkatesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel amd W Simon

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