It might have come as a shock to the poker industry when Amaya Gaming and Rational Group announced late last night that they had reached an agreement to let Amaya Gaming take over all of Rational Group's assets. Not only because Rational Group, who operates Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, has been the face of how the poker industry should be handled, but also simply because they were so profitable that a sale seemed illogical.
But now it has been confirmed that Amaya Gaming will take over Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker's mother company, Rational Group, for a price tag that would make most companies light headed as they paid a massive $4,9 billion.
"The Transaction will result in Amaya becoming the world's largest publicly-traded online gaming company. The online poker platform PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are collectively the world's most popular and profitable online poker brands with more than 85 million registered players on desktop and mobile devices." A press released stated.
"Under the terms of the Transaction, Oldford Group shareholders led by Mark Scheinberg, founder and Chief Executive Officer, will dispose of their shares to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amaya. Mr. Scheinberg and other principals of OIdford Group will resign from all positions with Oldford Group and its subsidiaries on completion of the Transaction." it added.
Players will not be affected by the purchase, as the management will continue to be the same, as well Amaya keeping the employees of Pokerstars. The acquisition is part of Amaya Gaming's strategy to be able to enter in the online gambling market in the US.
"This is a transformative acquisition for Amaya, strengthening our core B2B operations with a consumer online powerhouse that creates a scalable global platform for growth," said David Baazov, CEO of Amaya. "Mark Scheinberg pioneered the online poker industry, building a remarkable business and earning the trust of millions of poker players by delivering the industry's best game experiences, customer service and online security. Working with the experienced executive team at Rational Group, Amaya will continue that tradition of excellence and accelerate growth into new markets and verticals."
Rational Group Founder and CEO Mark Scheinberg said: "I am incredibly proud of the business Isai and I have built over the last 14 years, creating the world's biggest poker company and a leader in the iGaming space. Our achievements and this transaction are an affirmation of the hard work, expertise and dedication of our staff, which I am confident will continue to drive the company's success. The values and integrity which have shaped this company are deeply ingrained in its DNA. David Baazov has a strong vision for the future of the Rational Group which will lead the company to new heights."