March 2, 2016 / 11:02 PM / in 3 years

Canada's Amaya taps Moelis to provide independent valuation of company

TORONTO (Reuters) - Amaya Inc AYA.TO, an operator of online gambling websites, said on Wednesday it had tapped Moelis & Co to independently value the company in light of an anticipated takeover proposal from its Chief Executive Officer David Baazov.

The logo of gaming company Amaya Inc is seen at its head office in Montreal June 22, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Last month, Amaya disclosed it had received a non-binding proposal from Baazov to take the company private for C$21 a share. It also said a special committee of its board has tapped Barclays to review the expected all-cash offer.

Baazov has stated that he had begun preliminary discussions with a small number of potential investors and that it was his intention, subject to certain contingencies, to submit a formal proposal at or about the end of February.

Amaya, which plans to announce its fourth-quarter results on March 14, disclosed on Wednesday that it has so far not received a formal offer from Baazov.

Shares in Amaya closed 2 percent lower at C$19.50 in Toronto on Wednesday.

“While February has come and gone, discussions with Mr. Baazov’s representatives give us confidence that a bid is likely to materialize,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Kevin Wright, in a note to clients.

The company also said in view of the potential offer and the ongoing reviews by Moelis and Barclays, it will not be providing any financial outlook for 2016 when it reports quarterly results later this month.

It also said it has established guidelines and restrictions around the ongoing management of Amaya in light of the potential offer.

Reporting by Marwa Siam-Abdou; editing by Grant McCool

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