SMAAASH Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMSH) Enters Esports; Announces Definitive Agreement to Combine with NBA Memphis Grizzlies Minority Owner Jed Kaplan’s Simplicity Esports.
SMAAASH Entertainment, Inc. Enters Esports; Announces Definitive Agreement to Combine with NBA Memphis Grizzlies Minority Owner Jed Kaplan’s Simplicity Esports
Jed Kaplan joins the executive team of the combined company as Co-CEO
New York, NY – December 20, 2018 – SMAAASH Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: SMSH) (the “Company”), today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to wholly combine with Simplicity Esports, LLC (“Simplicity”) via an all stock acquisition. Simplicity is an established brand in the esports industry with an engaged fan base competing in popular games across different genres, including PUBG, Gears of War, Injustice 2 and NHL 19. Notably, the Simplicity stream team encompasses a unique group of casters, influencers and personalities all of whom connect to a dedicated fan base which has viewed and consumed millions of minutes of Simplicity contentcumulatively on various social media monthly.
Jed Kaplan, Managing Partner of Simplicity Esports, has been involved in professional sports for over 15 years. Currently, Mr. Kaplan is a minority owner of both the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA, and Swansea City of the English Championship League. Mr. Kaplan is a member of the NBA’s “G-League” Leadership Committee and has held stakes in several G-League teams, including the Erie Bayhawks, and the Iowa Energy as Managing Partner and Majority owner, which was recently sold to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In addition to his deep relationships and insights within the world of professional sports, Mr. Kaplan has significant financial expertise, as evidenced by his accomplished career spanning over 30 years on Wall Street, having held various roles with leading financial institutions including JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers and Prudential Securities.
“I am pleased to announce the signing of the definitive agreement with Simplicity Esports,” said F. Jacob Cherian, CEO of the Company. “Our acquisition of Simplicity, in an all-stock deal, creates the first pure play esports team and entertainment platform opportunity on NASDAQ, which we believe will increase shareholder value and boost our growth strategy as we endeavor the build out of our brick and mortar esports centers. I am also pleased to welcome Jed Kaplan as Co-CEO. Jed brings tremendous experience representing professional sports team ownership with a track record of success, and a clear vision to uniquely position the Company as a leading esports entertainment business.”
Jed Kaplan noted, “I am pleased to further develop, enhance and build the esports business together with the public platform of Smaaash. As technology evolves, gaming is one of the fastest growing verticals within the media and entertainment sector, and specifically esports is experiencing explosive growth, having attracted prime time audiences over 3 times larger than that which tuned into Super Bowl LI in 2017. I truly believe that esports is relevant now and represents a significant opportunity for investors as an integral part of professional sports for future generations. With current projections for esports predicting over $1.7 billion in annual revenues by 2021, I feel esports provides an attractive growth opportunity for shareholders.”
The closing of the acquisition is anticipated prior to year end which remains subject to standard closing conditions.
About SMAAASH Entertainment Inc.:
SMAAASH Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ:SMSH), (f/k/a I-AM Capital Acquisition Company Co-Founded and led by CEO F. Jacob Cherian and CFO Suhel Kanuga), completed its transaction with SMAAASH Entertainment Pvt. Ltd (“SMAAASH Private”) on November 20, 2018. SMAAASH Private is a global entertainment company offering interactive sports experiences and virtual reality gaming technology. SMAAASH Private was founded by Shripal Morakhia, a visionary Indian entrepreneur. SMAAASH’s core concept is to offer an interactive, immersive and fun experience to customers at its centers, blending Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and other games, indoor sports simulation entertainment, and attractive food and beverage options, customized to the tastes and preferences of a diverse set of customers across age groups, genders and backgrounds, including corporate customers, families, friends and children.
This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements,” including the closing of the acquisition of Simplicity, and the development and launch of esports centers. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous conditions, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section of the Company’s definitive proxy statement filed with the SEC on September 19, 2018, as amended. Copies are available on the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release, except as required by law.