MONTREAL - The Montreal-based company that owns PokerStars says it's no longer pursing a merger of equals with British bookmaker William Hill PLC and has concluded that it's better to remain an independent publicly traded company

Amaya Inc. had disclosed on Oct. 7 that the two gaming companies were in discussions about a possible merger.

That was followed last week by objections from Parvus Asset Management, which owns 14.3 per cent of William Hill.

Amaya said early today that the talks have ended without a deal.

Its board has been reviewing strategic alternatives since February 2016, after founder David Baazov indicated he wanted to buy out other shareholders and take Amaya private.

Since then, Baazov has been charged with five offences including communicating privileged information and attempting to influence the market price of Amaya stock. Baazov and two associated have pleaded not guilty.