Acquisition roundup: Amaya Gaming, CakeMail make noise


Two Montreal companies made noise within buying and selling this week. Amaya Gaming Group Inc (Nasdaq/TSX: AYA) had its ownership structure shook up by GSO Capital Partners LP, the credit arm of U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group. Meanwhile, CakeMail acquired Paris-based SimpleMail.

GSO Funds acquired 10,993,209 common shares of Amaya Gaming, the Montréal-based gaming and interactive entertainment industries giant. PEhub’s Kirk Falconer reported that GSO estimates its interest in Amaya now stands at about 19.99 per cent of the company’s total shares.

The Ponte-Claire-based Amaya Gaming consumer technology business currently offers online and mobile real- and play-money poker and other online and mobile products, including casino, sports betting (also known as sportsbook) and daily fantasy sports. It owns several brands, including PokerStars, Full Tilt, BetStars, StarsDraft, European Poker Tour, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour and Asia Pacific Poker Tour. These brands have more than 100 million cumulative 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 around the world and poker programming created for television and online audiences.

The other big deal involved CakeMail, a St. Henri-based email marketing startup. It acquired Paris-based SimpleMail, a startup serving over 10,000 accounts in the French market.

With CakeMail, companies can create and send successful newsletters in less time. The company serves customers in over 40 countries, and wanted to have a solid foundation in Europe to continue its expansion.

“It was a great opportunity for us because email marketing is booming and Europe is a key market in our development,” said François Lane, CakeMail’s president.

CakeMail

Julien Seguin, VP Operations at SimpleMail, said its current clients won’t see any changes because “CakeMail technology was already in the heart of SimpleMail solution.”

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