Online gambling company Amaya and bookmaker William Hill end merger talks

Canadian online gambling company Amaya Inc and British bookmaker William Hill have ended merger talks after both concluded that they would better off remaining independent at this time.

In response to press speculation, Amaya and William Hill had recently announced they were in discussions regarding a potential all share merger of equals.

''Those discussions have concluded, and Amaya and William Hill have determined that they will no longer pursue the merger,'' Amaya said in a statement.  

"Amaya is a strong and growing company with experienced management and a proven strategy to deliver profitable growth and shareholder value," said Divyesh Gadhia, chairman of Amaya.

"Together with our financial advisors, we evaluated a wide range of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value and have concluded that remaining an independent company is in the best interest of Amaya's shareholders at this time," he added.

Amaya, based in Montreal, also said that it has been informed by its former CEO, David Baazov, that he continues to be interested in buying the company.

''The Special Committee has not received an offer from Mr. Baazov that it or its advisors believes is capable of resulting in a completed transaction.  Accordingly, while the Board will consider any bona fide offer that Mr. Baazov or any other party may make, Amaya's review of strategic alternatives has concluded,'' the statement added.

Amaya is a provider of technology-based products and services in the global gaming and interactive entertainment industries.

It owns gaming and related consumer businesses and brands including PokerStars, Full Tilt, BetStars, StarsDraft and the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival live poker tour brands.

These brands have more than 103 million registered customers globally and collectively form the largest poker business in the world, comprising online poker games and tournaments, live poker competitions, branded poker rooms in popular casinos in major cities around the world, and poker programming created for television and online audiences.