Laurent Tapie talks potential Full Tilt Poker sale

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 30, 2011 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

fulltiltpoker soldHours after the first whispers of a deal to purchase the ailing online poker room Full Tilt poker hit the Internet, landed an exclusive interview with the man heading the group of investors that have entered into an Acquisition Agreement with Full Tilt poker, Laurent Tapie.

According to the article, Tapie, “wouldn’t have undertaken such a project if he didn’t believe in its potential”. The Groupe Bernard Tapie released a statement earlier today where they stated they had entered into an exclusive agreement with Full Tilt poker to purchase the company and all of its associated assets, going on to say that the repayment of players would be part of the deal.

However, there are still several roadblocks that must be overcome, most notable of which is coming to a deal with the Department of Justice in the United States to settle the civil case filed on April 15, 2011 (Black Friday).

Tapie wouldn’t answer questions regarding specific dollar amounts, but did tell the following: “We have shown that we have the funds necessary to repay player debts. We want to find ways where we don’t have to put in all the money and will be talking to the US Department of Justice next week.”

Tapie is likely referring to the hundreds of millions of dollars the DOJ seized from Full Tilt poker, and is apparently hoping that a good portion of this seized money will be used to repay the players who have had their Full Tilt poker accounts dating back to April 15, 2011 for US players and late June for International players.

Tapie also told the outlet that the group plans on keeping the Full Tilt Poker brand –once considered one of the best in poker—despite the terrible press the company has received since Black Friday: “The brand is not in question, it’s a well-known brand and the technology is widely recognized as being possibly the best in the industry. The management of the company is being questioned and it will be changed (should the takeover be concluded). I believe we have the tools necessary to once again make the site one of the leaders in the online poker sector.”

Tapie concluded the interview with the potentially disheartening comment that there “still a long way to go” before a deal is done, but did provide a timetable of sorts for when he would hope to have the site back up and running: January 2012.

You can read the entire article here:

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