Online Poker

PartyGaming Makes Bid on WPT

by Poker Team

It looks like PartyGaming, parent company of Party Poker, is looking to make a major splash. Fresh off the heels by recruiting poker personality Mike Sexton to be the face of its brand, it was revealed yesterday that Peerless Media, a PartyGaming subsidiary is the mysterious second bidder making a move to acquire World Poker Tour Enterprises (WPTE). In a statement just released, the WPTE announced that it has agreed in principle to sell all of its assets, excluding cash and investments to the group. The deal is reportedly worth $12.3 million plus 5% of the company’s future gaming revenues.

However, it is also being reported that the WPT will also be facing a $1 million fine for accepting this offer and reneging on the deal previously in place with Gamynia Limited. As was previously reported, the WPT had entered into an agreement to sell it’s assets to Gamynia for $9.1 million and 4 percent of its future gaming revenue, pending stockholder approval. However, the better offer from Peerless Media made this an easy decision for them as the added money would offset the fine.

When asked to comment, WPTE’s president and CEO Steve Lipscomb was quite excited and said,

“PartyGaming has been an important partner for a number of years, and we are confident that they will be an excellent manager of our brands in the future.”

This actually isn’t the first time the two companies have had dealings. PartyGaming was actually a sponsor of WPT broadcasts during seasons 4, 5 and 6. It should be noted however, that although an agreement is in place, it is not yet final. Either side can opt out of the deal if it has not been closed by Feb. 24, 2010 and again must be approved by WPT stakeholders.

This latest bit of news reinforces the thoughts that PartyGaming is seriously positioning itself for a major return to the online poker market. In addition to this current bid and its signing of Sexton in April, the company agreed to pay $105 million in fines to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York for a non-prosecution agreement in April 2009.

Should the WPT deal come to fruition, PartyGaming is seemingly right back in the thick of things in the world of online poker.

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