Amaya has appointed Barclays Capital Canada as the exclusive financial advisor to its recently-established special board committee as it prepares to assess a takeover bid from its chief executive David Baazov.

The committee is chaired by Amaya’s lead independent director Dave Gadhia, and was established last week in order to evaluate Baazov’s potential offer and any other alternatives that may present themselves. It will also be advised by Blake, Cassels & Graydon, which has been engaged as its legal advisor.

Baazov has given Amaya’s board of directors notice that he plans to make an all-cash proposal to acquire the business at a price estimated to be CAD$21.00 per common share, valuing the business at around $2.8bn.

Amaya’s current chairman and CEO holds 24,564,047 common shares in the business – around 18.6 per cent of its issued and outstanding common shares – and has options to acquire an additional 550,000 common shares.

He has begun preliminary discussions with a small number of investors, and will look to submit a formal proposal at or around the end of February.

Amaya has been notified that four other employees, including executive vice president of corporate development and general counsel Marlon Goldstein, may participate in Baazov’s proposal.

The committee is yet to receive nor has it solicited a formal bid or offer, and notes that there can be no assurance that Baazov’s notice will result in a formal bid or offer, or that any such bid or offer may result in a completed transaction.

Shares in Amaya Inc (Co.Data) (TSX:AYA) closed up 1.28 per cent at CAD$19.00 per share in Toronto Friday.