Toronto-listed Amaya Inc has confirmed Rafi Ashkenazi’s appointment as chief executive on a permanent basis after former boss David Baazov cut his official ties with the company.
Amaya confirmed Baazov had resigned from ‘all positions’ within the company effective 11 August. He had been on temporary leave since March.
Issuing a short statement Baazov commented: “I am proud of my contributions in building Amaya into the successful company it is today, and continue to be supportive of its strategy and management.”
Amaya disclosed that Baazov and CFO Daniel Sebag would not stand for re-election following the company’s AGM in June.
Amaya specified that it was still reviewing Baazov’s management takeover proposal and other strategic alternatives in the best interest of its investors. Amaya stated that while these discussions are advancing, “there remains no guarantee that this process will result in a transaction of any kind.”
Amaya H1 Interim Results
The news of Baazov’s departure came with the company’s half-year 2016 results which showed an 8% uplift in group revenue to $5.7 billion, with group EBITDA up 12% to $253 million. Amaya’s post-period group earnings of $78 million were up 163% on corresponding H1 2015’s $30 million.
Detailing the performance drivers, Amaya noted that customer registrations had increased by 1.9 million hitting the 103 million mark during Q2 2016. Amaya further detailed a positive take-up of its casino and sports-betting products, which now represent 21% of group revenues.
Since the company is currently undertaking a strategic review concerning its potential sale, Amaya chose not to issue any guidance for full-year 2016.
Amaya’s New CEO Rafi Ashkenazi commented on corporate performance:
“We continue to execute on our 2016 strategy.
“Through focused expense management and product improvements and diversification, we delivered second-quarter results that overcame seasonal headwinds and continued currency challenges, evidencing the strength of our combined core business. In addition, the special committee continues to focus on the strategic alternatives process with a committed view towards maximizing shareholder value.”