Investors will shortly be able to purchase shares in Ontario’s homegrown online gambling operator NorthStar Gaming. The company announced on Mar. 3 that it had completed the reverse takeover process it was undergoing to become a publicly-traded corporation.
Technically speaking, the former NorthStar Gaming is now a subsidiary of another company, Baden Resources, which has now taken on its name. For practical purposes, however, all that has changed is that NorthStar will now trade on the TSX Venture Exchange. Previously, it had been under the joint ownership of Torstar Media and Playtech.
Baden shares formerly traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange. They will be delisted there and reappear on the TSXV under the new symbol $BET.
The shares don’t appear to be immediately available. However, NorthStar’s press release states that trading will begin this week.
About NorthStar and Baden
NorthStar Gaming arose as an attempt to capitalize on Ontario’s online gambling privatization plan by the media company Torstar. Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, and Torstar has a strong presence there, including ownership of the Toronto Star newspaper. The Star now has a sports-betting media partnership in place with NorthStar Bets, the company’s sportsbook.
International online gambling technology supplier Playtech then struck a deal to invest $12.25 million in the new brand and provide it with its platform.
For its part, Baden Resources was a Vancouver-based mineral exploration company. It had been investigating potential copper and gold deposits in Midway, British Columbia, before announcing its plan to become a corporate vehicle for NorthStar’s plans to go public.
In a reverse takeover, a smaller company issues new shares to acquire a much bigger one before taking on its identity. Effectively, the smaller company becomes a publicly-traded “wrapper” for the bigger one.
It can be a quicker and cheaper way for a company to go public than the more traditional initial public offering. In some ways, it’s similar to the special purpose acquisitions company plan that has been popular in the US online gambling space. The difference is that rather than the “wrapper” company being created for that sole purpose, the reverse takeover uses an existing company, often one that has fallen on hard times and is no longer doing business.
Notably, PokerStars chose this route in 2014, using another Canadian company, Amaya. In that case, however, the two were in related fields, as Amaya was a casino game developer. More importantly, Amaya’s executives stayed on because PokerStars needed a complete change in leadership to gain access to the US market after years of illegal activity there.