Once again, the World Poker Tour has new ownership! The globally renowned brand has been sold by Allied Esports Entertainment to Element Partners LLC, an investment firm for $78.25 million. The deal, announced by the WPT in a Tuesday press release, will see all of Allied Esports Entertainment’s poker business and assets including the World Poker Tour being acquired by Element Partners, LLC.
According to the acquisition agreement’s terms outlined in the press release, Element Partners will pay Allied Esports $68.25 million upfront. Furthermore, Allied Esports will receive a fully guaranteed revenue share of 5% of WPT-branded tournament entry fees on Element-owned or licensed gaming platforms during a three-year period after the transaction’s closing, up to a maximum of $10 million.
Allied Esports Entertainment’s Board of Directors approved the transaction, which will close in late January or early February as long as the shareholders of the company approve the transaction.
The CEO of Allied Esports, Frank Ng, said, “Despite the several challenges caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the business of WPT has delivered impactful and extremely substantial results, mainly through its online platforms and has carried out resourceful contributions for the company.”
“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.”
The WPT was founded in 2002 by Steve Lipscomb with the financial support of Lyle Berman, and has since paid out more than $1 billion in prize money across its tours. This is not the first time for the WPT to change hands. The WPT was sold to PartyGaming in 2009 for $12.3 million. Two years later, PartyGaming merged with Bwin Gaming to become Bwin Party Digital Entertainment. In 2015, Hong-Kong-listed Ourgame International Holdings Ltd. bought the WPT for $35 million. The WPT then merged with Allied Esports Entertainment at the start of 2019 after the two companies were bought by WPT co-founder Lyle Berman’s Black Ridge Acquisition Corporation in a $150 million deal.
This latest deal doesn’t seem to have any impact on the slate of events that WPT is currently hosting across the live and online realms. Check out worldpokertour.com for a look at the upcoming WPT events!