3/10/10 – The unconfirmed reports on the resignations this week of a key World Poker Tour Enterprises exec has created speculation over whether they jumped or were pushed by new owners Peerless Media – a subsidiary of Party Gaming plc.
The confusion over the departure of Rohin Malhotra, the Company’s Managing Director has its roots in SEC filings dated November 2 2009 which advise:
"On November 2, 2009, pursuant to the terms of an Asset Purchase Agreement by and between WPT Enterprises, Inc. and Peerless Media Ltd., dated August 24, 2009, we closed a transaction whereby we sold substantially all of our operating assets other than cash, investments and certain excluded assets to Peerless for cash consideration of $12.3 million and an ongoing revenue share relating to the purchased assets, under which Peerless will make a minimum aggregate payment to the Company of $3 million over the next three years.
"As a result of the closing of the transaction, and in accordance with the approval of a majority of the Company’s shareholders voting at a special meeting of the shareholders held on October 30, 2009, the Company changed its name to ante4, Inc. on November 4, 2009.
"Item 5.02 Departure of Directors and Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers. In connection with the closing of the Transaction, on November 2, 2009, the Company terminated the employment of Adam Pliska, the Company’s General Counsel and Secretary, and Rohin Malhotra, the Company’s Managing Director."
Interestingly, Malhotra was at one time a Party Gaming executive.
Appointed in October 2007, Rohin Malhotra was a highly experienced member of the WPTE hierachy, bringing to the company a ‘vast' knowledge of television networks, production, and distribution in his role as Managing Director – International Sales & Marketing.
Malhotra moved from Fox Sports where he was an Executive Advisor. Prior to Fox Sports, according to WPTE media informationals, he served as the International Marketing & Head of Global Programming for PartyGaming plc, where he focused on programming strategy and global distribution initiatives. He also provided operational and business strategy as Senior Director at MTV Networks.
As WPT Managing Director – International Sales & Marketing, Malhotra was tasked with leveraging his knowledge and experience to maximise the WPT content library across all television and multimedia platforms. His charge was to strategically distribute and utilize WPT content in traditional and non-traditional media platforms while building the brand and translating the exposure into traffic and players for WPT's failed online gaming site.
The executives would appear from the SEC filings to qualify for golden parachutes in the shape of 18 months of remuneration package. When negotiations for the sale of WPTE were in progress last year the company filed an amendment to its Compensatory Arrangements for Certain Officers guaranteeing the packages in the event that the officers named were terminated without cause in connection with the sale of the company.