The World Poker Tour should have been sold to Element Partners, LLC yesterday. Instead, it was hit by yet another delay.
The shareholders of Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. gathered yesterday to discuss and vote on the sale of Club Services, Inc. Club Services is the subsidiary that holds all of Allied Esports’s poker-related assets. This includes the World Poker Tour.
Unfortunately for Allied Esports, Club Services, and Element partners, when the meeting convened yesterday, attendance by shareholders was too low. The company announced that the “virtual Special Meeting of Stockholders, scheduled for June 28, 2021, was convened and adjourned without any business conducted due to the fact that quorum was not present.”
Without a quorum, the shareholders were unable to conduct the relevant business. Instead, the Special Meeting is to be reconvened on Thursday, July 1, 2021, at 11:00 AM EDT. The hope is that, by delaying the meeting, the board will be able to get a quorum of votes via proxy forms.
Despite the repeated delays, the decisions at the meeting will be backdated to May 27, 2021.
In a press release issued yesterday in the wake of the meeting, the board of Allied Entertainment called for shareholders to vote.
“Whether or not stockholders of record as of the record date plan to attend the reconvened Special Meeting,” the press release says. “The Company’s Board of Directors and management urge them to vote by proxy to ensure their vote is counted. Stockholders who have previously submitted their proxy or otherwise voted and who do not want to change their vote need not take any action.”
The irresolute resolution
If the motion to sell passes on July 1, then the sale of the WPT can move forward. Until then, it remains in limbo, and Element stays vulnerable to yet another counter-offer from Bally’s. The board of the company is required to review any “materially better” offer for the same assets. Bally’s showed interest in purchasing the WPT previously, and currently has a deal to show much of the WPT’s television output on its TV channels — Bally’s Sports. It is not clear how much of this TV deal will end up surviving the sale to Element Partners.
The deal has been in motion for a while now. The first glimmer came back in January 2021 when Adam Pliska, the CEO of the WPT, issued a video statement about the sale. At that time, the price was $78 million, and it seemed pretty definitive. We all thought the WPT would go to Element.
Then Bally’s stepped in. After a counter-offer from Bally‘s and the subsequent bidding war, Element has ended up on top. While the sale is still set to go to Element, Bally’s bid ended up driving the price higher. Instead of $78 million, Element will have to cough up $105 million.
Even with the bidding settled delays have continued to dog the deal. Yesterday’s delay is the second time the $105 million deal has been knocked back a few days.
Previously, Allied Esports’s shareholder meeting was moved to allow some wiggle room for a major shareholder in Allied Esports, Ourgame International Holdings Limited. The delay let Ourgame hold its own shareholders’ meeting. This meeting was used to determine which way Ourgame would cast its votes in Allied Esports’s meeting. These meetings on meetings are beginning to feel endless.
However, with the shareholder’s meeting on Thursday, we may finally get some clarity on the future of the WPT.
Featured image source: Flickr by WPT