After all of the changes that World Poker Tour Enterprises has endured over the past few years, it seems that CEO and founder Steve Lipscomb can finally take some time off knowing that the company he built will be in good hands. Not only is he turning the presidency over to friend and longtime legal counsel at WPTE Adam Pliska, but the sale of the company to PartyGaming is final and should see some positive worldwide changes going forward.
WPTE first began entertaining bids for a buyout during the summer of 2009 when Gamynia put in a formal offer of $9,075,000. But it only took a few weeks for Peerless Media Ltd., a subsidiary of PartyGaming, to come to the table with a $12.3 million offer. It was the PartyGaming buyout that interested WPTE the most, not only because of the higher dollar bid but because of the reputation that PartyGaming has built and its close ties with World Poker Tour commentator Mike Sexton. Even when a last-minute offer was tossed at the company by Mandalay Media for $35 million, it was rejected for the favorable PartyGaming bid.
The buyout gives PartyGaming all of the television library, intellectual property rights, brand names, trade names, associated contracts, and personal property. And as soon as the deal was complete, PartyGaming announced on November 9 that the World Poker Tour Enterprises name was officially changed to Ante4 Inc., and its associated Nasdaq Stock Exchange price was also changed from WPTE to ANTF. And as Steve Lipscomb stepped back from the WPTE, former legal counsel and Board of Directors secretary Adam Pliska was named as the president of Ante4. All 35 current employees of Ante4 will now receive checks from PartyGaming.
Lipscomb, on the other hand, will take the cash from the deal and either buy another company or enter into some type of merger, he told the Los Angeles Business Journal. His new company, of which he will be the president, will be starting virtually from scratch. He explained, “We have one really great employee. We are looking for opportunities that will maximize shareholder value, but have nothing to announce at this time.”