Full Tilt Poker Deal CollapsesApril 25, 2012 11:21 am
A few months after Full Tilt Poker had its US and then global operation suspended, French investment company Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) arrived on the scene as a possible saviour of the beleaguered poker room and its army of frustrated customers.
That was in October 2011, but now hopes of an imminent resolution have been dashed after it was announced the Department of Justice (DoJ) and GBT have failed to agree on how quickly to repay the more than $300 million still owed to Full Tilt customers.
Previously, GBT indicated that they were prepared to immediately restore players’ balances, but required more time before allowing them to withdraw their money from Full Tilt. It would appear that the deal was close to being finalised but in the last month the DoJ suddenly insisted that all players be paid in full within 90 days of the sale, resulting in the deal to collapse. As GBT lawyer Benham Dayanim explains:
“We were not prepared to do that. The DOJ did not make that a deal-breaker until the very end.”
Another factor which affected GBT’s decision to withdraw from the negotiations is that the company couldn’t be sure they would not legally still be held accountable for Full Tilt’s other debts in foreign courts if challenged by Full Tilt creditors.
However, as one chapter ends on the ongoing Full Tilt Poker saga, so opens another one. In this instance, the latest rumour circulating is that a more attractive potential buyer appeared on the scene causing the DoJ to suddenly change their offer with GBT. As lawyer Benham Dayanim then speculates:
“Clearly, we understood that they were negotiating with another party.”
Remarkably, it has been suggested that the secret buyer is none other than PokerStars, who would then buy Full Tilt as part of a broader settlement with the US Department of Justice. As always, nothing has been confirmed but Full Tilt lawyer Barry Boss did comment:
“Despite this development, Full Tilt Poker is more optimistic than ever that its No. 1 goal will be obtained: Full Tilt players will be repaid.”