World Poker Tour Enterprises (WPTE) has agreed to sell the World Poker Tour, which just kicked off its eighth season, to Gamynia Limited, a privately-held investment group with substantial holdings in a range of assets.
WPTE will get $9.075 million plus a percentage of the future revenues earned by the World Poker Tour and Professional Poker Tour brands.
Under terms of the deal announced Tuesday, the World Poker Tour and Professional Poker Tour brands will continue all operations including the company’s television, sponsorship, distribution and licensing units and will under the agreement enter the online gaming market.
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Gamynia has contracted for the services of an industry leading online gaming marketing company, Hardway Investments Ltd., which will seek to develop the WPT brands with the goal of maximizing future revenue opportunities.
"We believe this transaction will enable the World Poker Tour to realize its full potential across both its existing businesses and the lucrative online gaming market," said Steve Lipscomb, president and CEO of WPT Enterprises. "Gamynia and its partners possess highly complimentary resources which will help it invest in and effectively integrate with the World Poker Tour efficiently and profitably."
Lipscomb added that, even though the World Poker Tour helped fuel the poker boom beginning in 2003, it has "struggled to find the appropriate place for its stockholders in this fast evolving market."
"We believe that Gamynia and Hardway Investments Ltd. are uniquely positioned to join with our current partners and guide the World Poker Tour brands to fulfill their potential in the global poker marketplace," Lipscomb said. "Our board of directors believes that WPTE shareholders will derive more benefit from the WPT and PPT brands in cooperation with these significant online gaming entities."
Under the purchase agreement, WPTE will sell its television library, including all related intellectual property rights, brand names, trade names, certain assumed contracts and tangible personal property.
Gamynia will assume specified liabilities including one of the two corporate leases. WPTE will retain its cash and cash equivalents, investments in debt securities and put rights, certain other investment and litigation assets, and future foreign sponsorship revenues from the sponsorship of Seasons Four, Five and Six of the World Poker Tour and Season One of the Professional Poker Tour by PartyGaming and the license of Season Seven of the World Poker Tour to PokerStars.
Despite selling all of its poker-related assets, WPTE is not going away. The company plans to develop or acquire a non-poker related business.
"After the transaction, WPTE will move forward under a new name and will employ our cash in a new venture by developing a new business or combining, through one or more strategic transactions, with companies that have significant unrealized value or growth potential" Lipscomb said.
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