Concerns around the $4.9 billion Rational Group acquisition deal pulled off by the Montreal-based online gambling group Amaya Gaming continue to ricochet around in financial circles, with a report in the Globe and Mail newspaper that the US private self-regulator the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is taking an interest in the run-up to the agreement.
The FINRA enquiry is over and above that of the Quebec financial regulator AMF, which visited Amaya offices recently (see previously reports).
The Globe and Mail reports that the US enquiry is focused on around 300 investors who are alleged to have benefitted handsomely from share price movements associated with the well-publicised deal last year.
According to the newspaper, FINRA contacted Amaya at the end of 2014 asking for information concerning the company’s relationships with the 300 investors who allegedly scored big profits after buying stock ahead of the major acquisition.
Approached for comment, Amaya informed the Globe and Mail that the only investigation it is aware of is that being conducted by Quebec’s AMF regarding trading activities in Amaya securities surrounding the Rational Group deal.
Earlier this year Amaya’s chief executive David Baazov commented on the AMF enquiries in a widely publicised interview (see previous report) commenting:
“I would say that the investigation for us is something that we anticipated given that there was a historical stock run-up in advance. I think the AMF is looking into something that they should be looking into and looking into what has led to that stock run-up.
“We have no evidence to believe that there’s any wrongdoing by any officer, director, or employees and we’re cooperating with the investigation.”