Allied Esports to sell World Poker Tour for $105M

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The bidding war for a poker business may draw toward a close.

Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. announced Wednesday an agreement to sell its World Poker Tour to Element Partners, LLC. They sold it for $105 million. This was an increase over their previously agreed-upon price of $90.5 million. Allied Esports founded in Irvine, California, and operates the HyperX, Esports Arena.

“The company’s board of directors will assess any proposal in due course. To keep in check with the terms of their stock purchase agreement with Element Partners.” Allied Esports CEO Frank Ng told on Wednesday.

The two companies first struck a $78 million partnership for World Poker Tour in January. But Rhode Island-based Ballys offered a $100 million bid to take over Allied Esports in early March. A series of offers followed this in the following weeks.

The new Element deal follows a $105 million proposal from Bally’s. An Allied Press release on Tuesday said the board reviewed the Bally’s offer. They compared it with the new Element agreement. The board approved the latter.

Ballys monitored its $100 million offer with a new offer in mid-March. On March 19, Allied Esports announced an agreement with Element to sell World Poker Tour for $90.5 million.

Again Bally’s raised its own offer, first to $100 million and then $105 million. According to Allied Esports.

The company then announced it had accepted the agreement with Element, Ng said.

Bally’s is unattached with the Strip casino. The regional gaming company, previously known as Twin Rivers Worldwide Holdings, operates gaming and racing facilities across the United States. Bally’s declined to give remarks on it.

The company revealed it was looking for a sale of its Esports business in the same Jan. 19 announcement regarding its World Poker Tour deal with Element.

Allied Esports spokesperson Brian Fisher said they encouraged the company by its fourth quarter. Adding the company is positive about in its balance sheet and “our ability to support Esports growth.”

“We listen to offers, but the sale of the Esports business is not a focus. We prioritize our attention on completing the sale of WPT,” Fisher said in a statement. “Once we finish the WPT transaction, we can then serve more energy to our strategy for Esports.”

Growth in Esports and gaming during the pandemic has “driven interest” for Allied Esports.

“Despite the many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The (World Poker Tour) business has delivered significant and effective results. Through its online platforms and services, the company made useful contributions. Ng said in the statement.

“Also, Allied Esports, with its renowned HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas and the best services, has generated market attention. As the Esports gained growth during the pandemic.”

“Because of COVID-19’s impact on the Company’s, we believe the sale of the WPT business will have significant capital. It will pave an avenue to determine new opportunities. And will deliver returns for all concerned,” he said.

Allied Esports would start with a new name. The company would pursue real-money gaming and other online entertainment.

Allied Esports reported financial results for the 2020 calendar year. The company generated $3.2 million in income across 2020. This was down from $7.5 million in 2019.

The company reported a net loss of $46.5 million in 2020. Compared with 2019, it was $15.5. Allied Esports lost a net of $19.7 million in the fourth quarter last year. There was a loss of $5.8 million during the same period in 2019. Those numbers exclude its World Poker Tour business component.

Shares of Allied Esports, traded as on the Nasdaq, opened at $2.95. They closed at $2.88. Share prices dropped to $2.68 in late trading but reached $2.74 by 3 p.m.

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Nassima Azmzm

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