bwin.party Sell WPT Franchise for $35 Million
After the news that WPTPoker.com was to shut down earlier this month, bwin.party have continued to release their non-core assets by handing over the whole of its World Poker Tour (WPT) holdings to Ourgame for the small sum of $35 million.
This marks the end of bwin.party’s six year ownership of the WPT franchise. Founded in 2002, the World Poker Tour was sold to Party Gaming in 2009 for $12.5 million (before their merger with Bwin in 2011).
In his Go to bwin.party’s website, bwin.party CFO Martin Weigold said the sale was consistent with their strategy to divest non-core assets, and that it would give the company chance to focus on their real money gaming and technology business. With bwin.party’s recent financial troubles, the sale means they can focus their energy on other sectors and invest more time into the PartyPoker brand.
The Chinese giant, Ourgame International Holdings have expressed their excitement with the sale, ‘World Poker Tour is unquestionably the global leader in organizing world-class poker events, and we are very proud to acquire one of the world’s greatest brands. WPT.’ They have promised to expand the franchise and they have some impressive credentials to back this up.
Created in 1998, Ourgame was originally to be a online card and board game developer. Yet since it’s humble beginnings, it now claims to be the biggest online games website in the world. Boasting 70 million registered users, and 30 million page views daily, Ourgame seem to be a very competent partner for WPT.
Ourgame established their relationship with WPT back in Decemember last year, when they gained exclusive rights to WPT throughout many Asian countries including China, Indonesia and Korea. Prior to this sale, Ourgame also had been awarded the rights to WPT in Japan.
Perhaps this impressive resume is why WPT are more than happy with the sale, stating that Ourgame is a ‘high growth company led by an enthusiastic group that is fully invested in the global growth of the sport of poker’ and that they are ‘delighted’ to join the Ourgame family.