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Allied Esports to restructure existing business following strategic review

| By Robert Fletcher
Allied Esports Entertainment has set out plans to restructure its existing esports business operations and expand its focus into a wider range of markets, following the completion of a strategic review.

Overseen by its board of directors and assisted by financial advisor Benchmark Company, the review looked at the Allied business as a whole to establish how it could best achieve further growth, including a potential business combination transaction.

It was concluded that shareholders’ interests would be best served by restructuring the existing esports business and widening focus to include a broader array of entertainment and gaming products and services, as opposed to seeking a single business combination transaction.

In addition, the business rebranded as Allied Gaming & Entertainment with effect from 1 December. Common stock will continue to be publicly traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the new ticker symbol “AGAE”.

“After a thorough review of potential M&A opportunities across a wide range of industries, we have decided our stockholders are best served by not pursuing a single significant transaction at this time,” chief executive Yinghua Chen said. 

“Given our deep roots and established position in esports and gaming, I am confident we can bring our operational acumen, unique assets and valuable resources to restructure our existing esports business and also offer a wider range of popular entertainment products and services to the broader gaming community. 

“By building beyond esports, our new strategy will provide the next level of experiential entertainment to the world of gamers. Looking ahead, we expect to achieve strong growth through both organic expansion and reasonably sized tuck-in acquisitions to help us capitalise on this burgeoning market opportunity.”

Allied appointed Robert Proctor as the new chief executive of its Allied Esports International subsidiary to lead the restructuring effort. Proctor is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur with three decades of experience spanning a variety of industries including entertainment, technology and media.

Proctor will oversee restructuring plans that include leveraging the business’ physical assets, including HyperX Arena Las Vegas and the Allied Esports Trucks, to create and deliver new experiences across multiple content genres.

The initiative will also seek to seize the scalability of virtual audiences to establish Allied as the world’s leading live and virtual live experience content creator and broadcaster with an emphasis on direct audience monetisation.

Additional plans include strengthening the Allied brand through experiential, lifestyle and content offerings, creating proprietary brand-forward content designed to build stronger partnerships, and growing and retaining audiences and users through the development of a new consumer platform.

“Rob is a veteran business leader and entrepreneur in the broadcasting, media and entertainment industries and possesses a unique combination of experience in content creation, global media sales, brand building, operation and strategic planning knowledge,” Chen said.

“We believe he is a great fit for fulfilling the new direction of our esports business. I look forward to working closely with him on improving the company’s cash flow and financial flexibility.”

Meanwhile, Allied will also seek to grow organically through the development of additional businesses that complement wider operations while targeting the broader global gaming market. 

Allied said it is exploring potential opportunities to expand its location-based-entertainment expertise with a focus on gaming lifestyle and experiential entertainment, as well as growing its digital footprint and monetisation capabilities through mobile gaming.

Further details of these plans will be provided at an appropriate time, Allied said.

The restructure comes following the resignation of former CEO Jud Hannigan in October. Hannigan confirmed the news in a post on his LinkedIn page, having led the business since February 2017. He was previously senior vice-president of the group.

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