Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. has committed to selling the World Poker Tour (WPT) to the growth equity firm Element Partners, LLC, which will pay $78.25 million, including $68.25 million up front and 5 percent of WPT branded tournament entry fees for three years.
The transaction is expected to close by early February at the latest.
The sale agreement includes all the poker-related business and assets. Allied is an eSports and poker company formed last year and which is owned jointly by Ourgame International Holdings out of China and Black Ridge Acquisition Group, based in Minnesota.
Allied Esports CEO Frank Ng commented, “Despite the many challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the WPT business has delivered substantial, impactful results, specifically through its online platforms and services, and has made meaningful contributions for the company.”
But because of Covid’s impact on company revenues, Ng added, “we believe the forthcoming sale of the WPT business will garner significant capital and an avenue to determine new opportunities that will deliver accelerated returns for our stakeholders.”
Allied also hopes to sell its eSports business and continue under a new name as a publicly traded company “focused on using its cash resources to explore opportunities in online entertainment, including but not limited to, real money gaming and other gaming sectors,” said Ng. It would, in essence, revert to being a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) also known as a blank check company. Which is how the company started off when it was formed.
Its current assets include a 30,000 square foot arena at Las Vegas’s Luxor Hotel and Casino and some semitrucks convertible into mobile eSports venues.
WPT has been credited with helping to create the poker boom of the early years of the century.