Groupe Bernard Tapie to Acquire Full Tilt Poker’s Assets in Deal With US Department of Justice

by Lou on November 1, 2011

Groupe Bernard Tapie and the US Department of Justice have apparently agreed that GBT will acquire Full Tilt Poker’s assets, contingent on FTP’s shareholders agreeing to this deal, which provides for the reimbursement of player funds.

The following e-mail was sent this morning to Tiltware shareholders from head honcho Ray Bitar:

Dear members,

I am pleased to announce that today the Department of Justice and Groupe Bernard Tapie have reached an agreement in principle regarding the acquisition of the companies comprising Full Tilt Poker. My understanding is the deal provides that in exchange for an agreed upon payment by GBT, and a GBT commitment to assume responsibility for payment of ROW players, DoJ will reimburse US players and settle the outstanding civil litigation with the companies comprising FTP. Beyond these conditions, issues like the time frame and process for repayment of players remain unclear at this point and time.

With DoJ’s consent now in hand, GBT may now proceed to finalize an agreement to acquire the companies or assets that comprise FTP.  That agreement will very likely address the status of your shares or interests in the successor company. When I receive that agreement, I will coordinate with our attorneys to ensure the terms of that proposed agreement will be shared with the membership and voted on.

-Ray

Once all the details are worked out by GBT and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Groupe Bernard Tapie will be able to propose a deal directly to Full Tilt shareholders.

According to what’s being reported, Groupe Bernard Tapie will be responsible for Full Tilt’s debt to non-US players, while DOJ will set up a fund to repay US players. A timeline for repayments is still unknown.

Also unknown is whether this deal removes the possibility of prosecution of Bitar, Lederer, Ferguson, and others who were in a decision-making and policy-setting role at FTP.

While GBT can begin the process of becoming licensed once the company is sold, there are no details about when to expect the launch of FTP’s successor.

It’s important to realize that this story is still very much a moving target, and will be developing over the coming days and weeks.

I’ll post what I know just as soon as I know it.

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