Full Tilt Poker sale to GBT still pending

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 19, 2011 Posted in Online Poker News, Poker Industry News | No Comments »

fulltiltpoker soldIt appears we may all have jumped the gun a bit after CNN Money posted an article (that was quickly taken down by the site). A new version of the article was posted on CNN Money on Friday, with some corrections made; corrections that will not sit well with poker players: The editor’s note that accompanies the article pretty much says it all:

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that all aspects of the deal for the sale of Full Tilt Poker to Groupe Bernard Tapie had been finalized, including an agreement between Full Tilt Poker and the U.S. Department of Justice. A final announcement is still pending.

The article makes it very clear that while Groupe Bernard Tapie and the US Department of Justice have an agreement in place that would see GBT purchase the assets of Full Tilt Poker from the DOJ for $80 million; the problem is that Full Tilt Poker has yet to forfeit said assets. Attorney Jeff Ifrah was quoted in the article as saying: “I think it’s very safe to assume that the U.S. and GBT would not have gone through the process of arriving at a signed agreement without very strong comfort that the company would facilitate the deal by voluntarily forfeiting its assets.”

The Implication in the earlier article was that Full Tilt Poker had agreed to forfeit all of their assets to the DOJ, who would then sell the company’s assets to GBT. As part of the sale the DOJ would take on the responsibility of repaying US players who still have funds on Full Tilt Poker, while GBT assumes Full Tilt Poker’s liabilities to all non-US players.

The original article also stated that no current Full Tilt poker Board members would be involved with the new company; a point that was not addressed in the updated article.

Perhaps more troublesome was the closing salvo in the article which ponders whether US players will be fully reimbursed by the US DOJ, and goes on to quote Ifrah once again, with the attorney delivering an open-ended answer that poker players will likely find very worrisome: “I think that’s an open-ended question if they’ll get fully reimbursed,”

While it’s unclear how Full Tilt Poker will decide on forfeiting their assets to the DOJ, the assumption is that the Full Tilt Poker shareholders will have to vote on the forfeiture (just as they would for a sale) needing a 2/3 majority for the deal to take place.

You can read the entire CNN Money article on the subject here: French firm nears deal for Full Tilt Poker

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