Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | World Poker News

Mandalay Media $35 Million Offer to Buy WPT Declined, PartyGaming Accepted

Share this
When the poker industry discovered that WPT Enterprises, home of the World Poker Tour, was available for sale, it was because of a public bid by Gamynia Limited in August of 2009. Only weeks later, a PartyGaming subsidiary by the name of Peerless Media Ltd. came in with a higher bid in the hopes of acquiring WPTE. And at the last minute, as PartyGaming sale was about to be finalized, Mandalay Media came in with an offer nearly three times that of the previous bidder to buy the company’s assets. It was a bidding war that not many people anticipated, but in the end, the WPTE would not go to the highest bidder.

The first offer from Gamynia brought $9,075,000 to the table in an attempt to purchase the greater portion of the WPTE, and the idea was being seriously considered. But the August 24 offer from Peerless seemed to have more impact. Not only was the bid upped to $12.3 million, but it carried with it the PartyGaming name. The WPTE chose Peerless as the buyer of choice and was willing to give its television library, intellectual property rights, brand names, trade names, associated contracts, and personal property to the company directly affiliated with its TV show host Mike Sexton. The offer was called “financially superior” by WPTE President and CEO Steve Lipscomb, and the deal moved quickly down the path of final sale.

As the Peerless agreement was close to being official and the papers signed, Mandalay Media jumped into the fray with a last-minute offer. The mobile entertainment company officially announced, on October 29, its proposal submitted to the WPTE Board of Directors to purchase the company for $35 million in cash and stock. The offer was appealing from the start, as shareholders were offered $1.69 per share, a 54 percent premium over the current trading price, whereas the PartyGaming deal left the shareholders with no distribution.

In its request for consideration letter to the WPTE Board of Directors, Co-Chairman Robert Ellin noted that the Mandalay Media management team has formed relationships that would lead the WPT into “multiple service offerings and distribution channels,” as well as “long-term global contracts for its television content.” Citing its familiarity with social media websites, the company stated that it would “develop and publish a more compelling and branded next generation poker experience that [sic] currently offered.” And ultimately, Ellin called his company’s proposal “superior” to that of Peerless.

But on November 1, just days after WPTE held its Special Meeting of Stockholders, it was announced that the Mandalay Media offer was refused and the Peerless Media agreement was approved. The final vote authorized the deal by 85.28 percent, and the deal with Peerless is set to be finalized in the early part of November.

Regarding the Mandalay offer, the announcement from WPTE read: “The board of directors of WPTE reviewed the Mandalay Proposal and concluded that it was not a Superior Proposal (as defined in the Agreement).”

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed