nergy firm Black Ridge Acquisition announced last week the completion of its business combination with esports property and content production facility owner Allied Esports and World Poker Tour operator WPT Enterprises following a special shareholders’ meeting.
Both assets have been acquired from previous parent company Ourgame International. The company has been renamed to Allied Esports Entertainment Inc. in the process and will trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol AESE.
Black Ridge Acquisition is a so-called “blank check company” that was formed by millionaire businessman and gambler Lyle Berman in 2017 to pursue energy deals. Its primary holding until now was Black Ridge Oil & Gas a 2010-vintage oil-and-gas company that never got much traction in the energy fields of North Dakota as prices declined.
Black Ridge Acquisition Corp., ceased trading last Friday and a new company, Allied Esports Entertainment (AESE), started trading on Nasdaq on Monday.
As part of the financing package, Black Ridge issued 11.6 million shares to the former owners of Allied Esports and World Poker at $11.50 per share.
Black Ridge also sold common stock to several investors valued at $18 million in private transactions. The combined company will headquarter in Irvine, Ca, Start Tribune reports.
Allied Esports traded as high as $4.70 per share on Monday, and closed at $3.57 per share on Wednesday. And the shares of predecessor company, Black Ridge, fell from about $10.25 to $4.50 in the days this month leading up to the merger transaction.
Millionaire businessman and gambler Lyle Berman, a championship poker player who got rich partly through Indian gaming contracts he gained with his former Grand Casinos management company 30 years ago, will remain a significant shareholder of the combined company.
Berman, who lives in Las Vegas, announced the switched focus to gambling, his old haunt, last December.
“There are hundreds of millions of people who play esports on a regular basis throughout the world,” Berman said. “We think that it’s an emerging industry that has really got incredible growth potential and we are kind of in on the ground floor.”
Berman, a prominent poker player, focused on the gaming industry after he sold family-owned Berman Buckskin in 1979.