Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

v3.20.2
Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2020
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

Note 11 – Commitments and Contingencies 

 

Litigations, Claims, and Assessments 

 

The Company is involved in various disputes, claims, liens, and litigation matters arising out of the normal course of business. While the outcome of these disputes, claims, liens and litigation matters cannot be predicted with certainty, after consulting with legal counsel, management does not believe that the outcome of these matters will have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows. 

 

On March 23, 2020, an employee of Allied Esports filed a claim in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging various employment misconduct against Allied Esports, the Company and an officer of the Company in connection with a competition hosted by Allied Esports. The claim alleged damages in excess of $3.1 million. The parties agreed to a mediation and all claims asserted against the Company by the employee for were settled on September 10, 2020 for an amount significantly less than the original claim. The matter is now closed.

 

Operating Leases 

 

The Company’s aggregate rent expense incurred was $650,438 and $711,302 during the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively, and was $2,113,909 and $2,079,801 during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Of the aggregate rent incurred during the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, $96,278 and $96,278, respectively, was capitalized into deferred production costs, $353,887 and $448,861, respectively, was included within in-person cost of revenues, and $200,273 and $166,163, respectively, was included within general administrative expenses on the condensed consolidated statements of operations. During the nine months ended September 30, 2020, the Company received a rent abatement in the amount of $91,667 and rent deferrals totaling $250,000 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the aggregate rent incurred during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, $288,835 and $288,835, respectively, was capitalized into deferred production costs, $1,068,440 and $1,073,864, respectively, was included within in-person cost of revenues, and $756,634 and $717,102, respectively, was included within general administrative expenses on the condensed consolidated statements of operations. 

 

Investment Agreements

 

TV Azteca Agreement 

 

In June 2019, the Company entered into an exclusive ten-year strategic investment and revenue sharing agreement (the “TV Azteca Agreement”) with TV Azteca, in order to expand the Allied Esports brand into Mexico. Pursuant to the terms of the TV Azteca Agreement, as amended, TV Azteca purchased 742,692 shares of AESE common stock for $5,000,000 (the “Purchased Shares”). 

 

In connection with the TV Azteca Agreement, AESE will provide $7,000,000 to be used for various strategic initiatives including digital channel development, facility and flagship construction in Mexico, co-production of Spanish language content, platform localization, and marketing initiatives. The Company will be entitled to various revenues generated from the investment. As of September 30, 2020, the Company has paid $5,000,000.

 

On July 20, 2020, the Company entered into an Amendment to TV Azteca Agreement (the “Azteca Amendment). The Azteca Amendment provides that, subject to the approval of the terms of the Azteca Amendment by the Company’s Board of Directors: (i) TV Azteca waives the Company’s obligations under the Term Sheet to pay TV Azteca $1,000,000 on each of March 1, 2021 and March 1, 2022 for various strategic initiatives, and to further invest in and develop an esports platform for the Mexican market; (ii) the Company waives the 24-month lock-up that prohibits TV Azteca from selling or transferring the 763,904 shares of Company common stock TV Azteca purchased pursuant to the Share Purchase Agreement (the “Purchased Shares”); (iii) TV Azteca may sell the Purchased Shares in compliance with applicable securities laws, subject to selling at a reasonable market price and subject to a daily volume cap not to exceed 25% of the Company’s total daily Nasdaq trading volume; and (iv) if TV Azteca sells all of the Purchased Shares within a three-month period following the Company’s Board of Directors approval of the Azteca Amendment, for gross proceeds of less than $1,600,000, then on March 1, 2021, the Company shall contribute additional capital to the parties’ strategic alliance pursuant to the Term Sheet in an amount equal to such shortage. 

 

Simon Agreement 

 

In June 2019, the Company entered into an agreement (the “Simon Agreement”) with Simon Equity Development, LLC (“Simon”), a shareholder of the Company, pursuant to which Allied Esports would conduct a series of mobile esports gaming tournaments and events at selected Simon shopping malls and online called the Simon Cup, in each of 2019, 2020 and 2021, and would also develop esports and gaming venues at certain Simon shopping malls in the U.S.

 

In connection with the Simon Agreement, AESE placed $4,950,000 of cash into an escrow account to be utilized for various strategic initiatives including the build-out of branded esports facilities at Simon malls, and esports event programs. On October 22, 2019, $1,300,000 was released from escrow in order to fund expenses incurred in connection with the 2019 Simon Cup. As of December 31, 2019, the balance in the escrow account was $3,650,000, which is shown as restricted cash on the accompanying condensed consolidated balance sheet. 

 

The Simon Agreement and the related Escrow Agreement, as amended, permitted Simon to request the return of any funds remaining in escrow if the parties did not agree on the 2020 spending plan by March 8, 2020. On March 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated in the United States, Simon notified the escrow agent that the parties had not agreed on a 2020 spending plan and requested the return of the remaining funds in the escrow account. The escrow agent returned the remaining $3,650,000 to Simon on March 26, 2020. During the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2020, the Company recorded $0 and $3,650,000, respectively, of stock-based compensation related to the return of cash held in escrow, which is reflected in stock-based compensation expense on the accompanying condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss. 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed indefinitely the parties’ ability to plan and budget for the 2020 and 2021 esports programming and esports venues. The parties have agreed to extend the due date under the applicable agreements from March 8, 2020 to January 31, 2021, in order to continue to develop and budget for the annual esports program and esports venues in future years once the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.

 

Brookfield Partnership 

 

On January 14, 2020, the Company issued 758,725 shares of its common stock to BPR Cumulus LLC, an affiliate of Brookfield Property Partners (“Brookfield”) in exchange for $5,000,000 (the “Purchase Price”) pursuant to a Share Purchase Agreement (the “Brookfield Agreement”). The Purchase Price was placed into escrow and is to be used by the Company or its subsidiaries to develop integrated esports experience venues at mutually agreed upon shopping malls owned and/or operated by Brookfield or any of its affiliates (each, an “Investor Mall”), that will include a dedicated gaming space and production capabilities to attract and to activate esports and other emerging live events (each, an “Esports Venue”). To that end, half of the Purchase Price will be released from escrow to the Company upon the execution of a written lease agreement between Brookfield and the Company for the first Esports Venue, and the other half will be released to the Company upon the execution of a written lease agreement between Brookfield and the Company for the second Esports Venue. Further, pursuant to the Brookfield Agreement, the Company must create, produce, and execute three (3) esports events during each calendar year 2020, 2021 and 2022 that will include the Company’s esports truck at one or more Investor Malls at mutually agreed times. The balance held in escrow as of September 30, 2020 is $5,000,000 and is reflected in restricted cash on the accompanying condensed consolidated balance sheet.

 

Amendments to Employment Agreements 

 

On April 24, 2020, the employment agreement between the Company and the Chief Executive Officer of WPT (the “WPT CEO”) was amended such that effective as of May 1, 2020, the WPT CEO annual salary will be reduced by 10% to approximately $377,000 for a six-month period, and thereafter his full annual salary will be restored.

 

On April 24, 2020, the employment agreement (the “CEO Agreement”) between the Company and its Chief Executive Officer (the “CEO”), was amended such that effective May 1, 2020, the CEO’s annual salary will be reduced by 80% to $60,000 for a six-month period. On September 30, 2020, the CEO Agreement was further amended such that effective November 1, 2020, the CEO’s annual salary will be $210,000 for a six month period, and thereafter the initial annual base salary of $300,000 set forth in the CEO Agreement will be restored.