Tag Archive | "Subject Poker"

FTP Shareholders Approve Asset Sales to Groupe Bernard Tapie

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By JAMES PUGSLEY, 16th December, 2011

Overviewing the agreement and advising employee's of the hurdles to come, Laurent Tapie himself was seen in Ireland this week.

Continuing the complicated process leading to Full Tilt’s re-emergence into the online poker market, Subject Poker today confirmed from multiple sources that Full Tilt’s shareholders have reached a two thirds majority vote to pass company assets onto french investment firm Groupe Bernard Tapie. The majority vote follows GBT’s agreement with the American Department of Justice, roughly one month ago. The deal allowed GBT to purchase Full Tilt’s forfeited assets from the DOJ for around $80 million, provided that FTP agreed to the transfer, and GBT pay back player funds internationally. While in terms of the American market, the DOJ itself will handle the repayment of around $150 million owed to U.S. based players.

Essentially the DOJ has acted as the mediator in this process, which, due to nature of the transaction, could also lead to some fairly heavy taxation for GBT. Regardless, Subject Poker confirmed that Laurent Tapie himself was present in Dublin to arrange the agreement, which looks now to two more steps before GBT can move more quickly with representing itself in the online scene. The next step would be for for actual asset forfeiture to take place, then for GBT to purchase for $80 million, and finally for the Department of Justice to drop all civil proceedings currently held against FTP. This does not, however, include individual indictments taken out against those such as Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar and Chris Ferguson.

The DOJ has acted as "the middleman" in GBT's aquisition of Full Tilt assets, and will be responsible for the repayment of U.S. based players once all steps are taken.

Also relating to Groupe Bernard Tapie, Poker-Red, Spain’s front-runner poker news website, also confirmed that GBT is undergoing efforts to pursue a Spanish gaming license, as the market there shall be regulated separately similar to France or Italy as of 2012. In total, 61 companies had reportedly shown interest in this specific license, with the Spanish market now being quite large and profitable to companies like Pokerstars, 888, and Party Poker to name a few. Presumably, GBT wishes to enter the Spanish market in the same fashion, as they have already made clear intentions that should everything go smoothly they would like to re-open Full Tilt as early as January.

Whatever the case, it seems clear that events are coming to their climax between the three factions, with the rest of the steps likely to take place in the coming weeks. As always,  Poker NZ will continue to follow the updates, and look forward to the diversification that re-opening a site like Full Tilt may bring to the current online poker climate.

Groupe Bernard Tapie in Final Stages of Full Tilt Acquisition

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By JAMES PUGSLEY, 4th November, 2011

FTP CEO Ray Bitar.

Over the last few days a Subject:Poker has had a number of sources confirm that Groupe Bernard Tapie (GPT) – a French investment company interested in purchasing and taking over Full Tilt, have nearly solidified an arrangement to have all players paid back. The company has a wealth of experience, including recovering the Adidas brand, which was, at the time, behind the rest of the market.  The arrangement itself entails an agreement that was reached between the US Department of Justice and GPT, where GPT would be responsible for payment of players internationally, and the DOJ responsible for paying the US customer base.

In response to the tentative agreement, CEO Ray Bitar passed on the following email to Tiltware shareholders:

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

While other sources such as PokerNews.com and PocketFives.com have confirmed that this arrangement has not been set in stone, additional details and finalities should come to the foray in the coming weeks. As for GBT’s stance on repaying players and re-opening Full Tilt Poker for play, Tapie confirmed his intentions to open the site as early as January, provided that the rest of the process runs relatively smoothly.

Other independent news sources have also reported that GBT contracted Red-Poker, the biggest Spanish based poker community and news website, who conducted a survey with a number of players who have a large amount of money tied up in FTP. The survey itself looked at payment options for players who had a large equity stake in the site, offering gradual payment, stock options, or other possibilities for paying back large amounts which presumably could not be available immediately to all players on an international level. Stay tuned to PokerNZ for future updates regarding the FTP saga as it unfolds in the coming weeks.

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