Element Partners to acquire the World Poker Tour
January 19, 2021
Global eSports entertainment company Allied Esports Entertainment and privately-held investment vehicle Element Partners announced a definitive agreement under which the latest will acquire the company’s poker-related business and assets, including the entities comprising the World Poker Tour (WPT).
Under the terms of the agreement, Elements Partners will acquire the WPT for a total of $78,250,000 consisting of a $68,250,000 upfront payment and a fully guaranteed revenue share of 5% of WPT-branded tournament entry fees on Element-owned or licensed gaming platforms, up to a maximum of $10 million, payable over three years after closing. The transaction, which has already been approved by the company’s Board of Directors, is expected to close in late January or early February of this year, assuming its shareholders approve the transaction and following required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The WPT, an iconic poker tour
The tour went public in 2003 and was later purchased by PartyGaming for $12 million and a related revenue share. The company was purchased in 2015 for $35 million by Ourgame International Holdings Limited and then acquired by NASDAQ-listed Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. with a value of $50 million in 2019 as part of a larger deal that led to the listing of the company as Allied Esports Entertainment.
Since its creation, the WPT has grown considerably and 2020 was an exceptional year for WPT’s online and interactive services pillars of its business models. Its TV show, which has reached new heights in distribution in 2020, attracts more than 150 million people worldwide and its events are held on five continents. Last year, its online subscription platform, ClubWPT, increased new registrations by 61% through the third quarter of 2020, exceeding registration of 2019 as a whole with total subscription revenue for ClubWPT also up 56% year-on-year over the period. “I want to thank Frank Ng and the entire AESE management team for its support in allowing WPT to flourish during this period. My management team and I are excited about next chapter and the tremendous new opportunities for the WPT brand and business”, said Adam Pliska, long-time CEO of the WPT.
“Despite the many challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the WPT business has delivered substantial, impactful results, specifically though its online platforms and services, and had made meaningful contribution for the company. In addition, Allied Esports, with its world-renowned HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas and best-in-class production services, has generated market attention as the eSports industry gained momentum during the pandemic”, commented Frank Ng, CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment. “Due to Covid-19’s impact on the company’s overall revenue generation and profitability timeline, 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”, he added.