The World Poker Tour has finally been cleared to move to its new owner, Element Partners, LLC. Official approval of the WPT’s sale occurred in separate shareholder votes by Ourgame International Holdings, Ltd. and Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. With the twin approvals, the WPT family of assets become the property of its new owner, Element Partners.
Finalizing the WPT’s sale was delayed several weeks due to internal strife within Ourgame over the WPT sale’s proceeds. That battle eventually led to the ouster of three members of Ourgame’s board of directors and a subsequent, but failed, corporate coup. Allied’s vote to approve the sale was delayed until Ourgame’s leadership issues were resolved.
Ourgame owns or controls nearly half of Allied Sports, either through direct corporate ownership (30.6%) or through individually-owned share blocs, and Allied’s WPT sale approval couldn’t be assured until Ourgame’s interests weighed in.
Following the failed coup within Ourgame, the company voted on June 28 to approve the WPT sale. That, in turn, allowed Allied to conduct its own final vote on July 1 in a brief shareholder meeting held on video.
Allied’s approval vote had been delayed twice, the second time on June 24, as Ourgame’s vote neared.
Ourgame narrowly passes WPT sale proposal
Ourgame’s internal struggles led to a tight vote to approve the WPT’s sale. With nearly 900 million shares voting on or before June 28, the proposal passed by a 54.4% to 45.6% margin. The close vote was due to the efforts of the three ousted board members and their allies, who wanted the WPT sold, but only if the majority of the sale’s $105 million in proceeds went to support a struggling company called Irena Group.
Irena Group is a prominent minority owner of Ourgame, and the three ousted board members, all prominent Irena executives, sought the infusion of funds to buttress their own company, which is mired in debt and is facing dozens of lawsuits.
Instead, funds from the WPT’s sale will go into Ourgame’s general fund to support the Asian-market gaming leader’s other business interests. Uncertainty over the final outcome of Ourgame’s vote forced Allied to push back its own vote to Thursday.
Video conference concludes Allied’s voting process
With Ourgame’s 30.6% ownership bloc locked in in favor of the sale, Allied Esports’ own final vote appeared to be a slam dunk, and that’s how it played out. All Allied shareholders who hadn’t already voted by proxy were invited to a brief video conference, with voting of their shares done through a connected, passcode-secured online process.
The entire meeting, conducted by Allied CEO Frank No, took six minutes. Following a couple of minutes’ time devoted to assuring a voting quorum was present. Ng directed the shareholders to cast their online votes, giving them a single minute to do so.
“Based on the submission of proxies and ballots,” Ng said, “the amended and restated [purchasing] agreement has been approved.” Ng then a possible vote on a second proposal, which would have authorized another delay to allow Ourgame and Allied to drum up more internal support for the sale.