The World Poker Tour has been sold by Allied Esports Entertainment (NASDAQ: AESE) for $78,250,000. The deal, announced on Tuesday, Jan. 19, will result in all of Allied Esports Entertainment’s poker-related business and assets being acquired by Element Partners, LLC. The privately-held investment vehicle agreed to pay $68,250,000 up front, with the remaining $10 million payable over the following three years via a fully guaranteed five-percent share of entry fees from WPT-branded tournaments.
Allied Esports Entertainment’s Board of Directors approved the transaction, which will close in the following weeks as long as the shareholders of the company approve the transaction.
“I want to thank Frank Ng and the entire AESE management team for their support in allowing WPT to flourish during this period,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “My management team and I are excited about this next chapter and the tremendous new opportunities for the WPT brand and business.”
Ng, the CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment, added that, “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 [Allied Esports Entertainment].”
The WPT was first founded in 2002, and has since gone on to pay out more than $1 billion in prize money across its tours. The WPT was sold to PartyGaming in 2009 for $12.3 million. Two years later, PartyGaming merged with bwin to become bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. Ourgame International Holdings Ltd. bought the WPT in 2015 for $35 million.
The WPT merged with Allied Esports Entertainment at the start of 2019 after the two companies were purchased by WPT co-founder Lyle Berman’s Black Ridge Acquisition Corporation in a $150 million deal.
This latest deal likely won’t have any impact on the slate of events that WPT is currently hosting across the live and online realms. Check out CardPlayer’s tournament listings for a look at all the upcoming events from the WPT and other major tours.