Element Partner LLC has reached an agreement with Allied Esports Entertainment to acquire World Poker Tour and all of its assets for $78 million. The new deal will see World Poker Tour pay $68 million upfront with the remainder to be paid later. The company will also have to give up 5% of all revenue generated from WPT entry fees that will be paid for a max of 3 years from the date of acquisition. With the board of directors approving the move, the deal is expected to be finalized in late January or early February once the shareholders convene to give the go-ahead. In addition, customary closing conditions have to be met as well as all pending regulatory approvals to be given the nod.
WPT’s ownership history
Founded back in 2002, under the vision of Steve Liscomb and Lyle Berman’s financial backing, WTP was first sold in 2009. Party Gaming acquired the business for a whopping $12.3 million, outbidding several companies in the process including Gamynia Limited who had presented an initial bid of $9 million. Under the control of Party Gaming, WPT grew substantially, entering a partnership agreement with Ourgame International Holdings. The culmination of the partnership agreement was a poker event in China. Later in 2015, Ourgame International would acquire WPT for $35 million. In 2018, WPT was acquired by Black Ridge Corporation in a record-breaking $213 million deal that also included the acquisition of Allied Esports International. Once the deal was finalized, Allied Esports International and WPT were all combined into one, leading to the creation of Allied Esports Entertainment.
AEE to conduct business under a different name
Once the deal has been finalized, Allied Esports Entertainment will begin to trade under a new name and use the cash acquired from this trade to explore new markets and possibilities. According to AEE CEO, Frank NG, despite the challenges presented by the upsurge of COVID-19, the company has been successful in delivering substantial results through its online services and platform all resulting in a meaningful contribution to the company. Like most businesses, AEE took a massive hit during the outbreak of Covid-19. In the process, the business, AEE was forced to shut down most of its scheduled events. To adapt to the new changes, AEE agreed to a partnership deal with Partypoker, which led to the creation of WPT Online Championships. WPT Online Championship proved to be a success generating a prize pool money of $100 million.
What’s next for Allied Esports Entertainment?
Ever since its inception back in 2002, WPT has experienced tremendous growth becoming a multi-million dollar brand. To date, WPT’s iconic television show has become a sensational hit reaching more than 150 million people every year. Held in five different continents the show has awarded more than $1 billion in player winnings ever since its inception. It’s still unclear as to whether Allied Sports Entertainment will still remain in business after the deal has been finalized. This is due to the fact that the two initial assets, AEE and WPT were separated prior to the conclusion of the sale.