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WPTE spin off set as dividend

Oct 14, 2008 5:05 PM

by Ray Poirier | Lakes Entertainment Inc. (LACO), whose chairman Lyle Berman was instrumental in the founding of WPT Enterprises Inc. (WPTE), will spin off, as a dividend to its stockholders, its 61% holdings in WPT Enterprises stock.

LACO directors declared the stock dividend at a recent meeting.

The company said it will use the record date of Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. CDT to establish the shareholders who are entitled to the dividend. It also will establish the ratio to be used in the distribution.

Lakes Entertainment owns 12,480,000 shares of WPTE that has been trading at the $0.50 level in recent weeks.

"The spin-off of WPTE shares to our shareholders provides an option for them to monetize the value of WPTE shares if they so choose," explained Tim Cope, president and CFO of Lakes Entertainment.

"In addition, Lakes will benefit in that we will no longer be required to consolidate WPTE’s financial and business information in our SEC filings. This will enable us to provide greater transparency of Lakes’ operations and financial results to our shareholders and the public," Pope added.

The spin-off distribution will be based on the total number of WPTE common shares in existence on the day selected. At the current level, the company said, each LACO share would be entitled to approximately 0.4795 shares of WPTE.

Lakes Entertainment currently has development and management or financing agreements with four separate tribes for casino operations in Michigan, California, and Oklahoma. Also, the company manages two other tribal casinos.

On Election Day, Lakes Entertainment will be looking to Ohio voters to approve a casino in the southwest section of that state.