US casino operator Bally’s Corp has made an unsolicited US$100 million offer to acquire all outstanding equity interests in Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc, including the subsidiary that owns the World Poker Tour (WPT).
Allied Esports is a Nasdaq-listed eSports and poker venture formed in 2019 and jointly owned by Chinese online games operator Ourgame International Holdings and Minnesota-based oil and gas company Black Ridge Acquisition Group. Ourgame acquired the WPT for US$35 million in 2015.
The offer, if accepted, would require Allied to terminate a previous agreement it signed with growth equity firm Element Partners, LLC in January to sell the WPT for US$78.25 million. Bally’s has offered to cover a US$3 million fee for termination of the Element transaction, and Allied would hold the option on whether to be paid the US$100 million consideration in cash, Bally’s capital stock or a combination of both.
While the company said its Board of Directors continues to recommend to shareholders that they approve the original deal, it promised to evaluate the Bally’s proposal and discuss with Element potential updates to their agreement.
The WPT has long been one of the world’s leading poker brands and is credited with helping spark the global poker boom of the early 2000s via its late night tournament broadcasts, featuring insightful commentary from Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten.