Full Tilt Sign Acquisition Agreement
The rumors of French investors buying Full Tilt Poker were confirmed true today when FTP announced it had signed an acquisition agreement with the Bernard Tapie Group.
The group, led by Bernard Tapie's son Laurent, has signed an exclusive agreement to not only acquire all of Full Tilt's assets but to repay all of its players worldwide.
According to a release which was sent to pokerstrategy.com earlier today:
"'Groupe Bernard Tapie' has over 30 years of experience in the salvation of financially distressed businesses, with over 40 companies acquired and managed to profitability, the most well-known being the sport equipment giant, Adidas."
The executon of the agreement is still contingent on a number of factors, not the least of which is an agreement with the United States Department of Justice regarding the charges still pending from the indictments of Black Friday.
Discussions between the Group and the Department of Justice are said to be beginning immediately, according to the release.
The Tapie family is well known in the business world for turning around bankrupt companies, including Adidas in the early 90s, but is not without its own track record of scandal.
Bernard Tapie has been convicted of tax fraud in France and spent six months in prison for fixing a match during his tenure as president of the Olympique de Marseilles football club.
Laurent Tapie: "We Have the Funds Necessary to Repay Player Debts"
In Laurent Tapie's first interview since the acquisition announcement, he told iGaming France that the Group hoped to get Full Tilt back up and offering online poker by January 2012 and that the funds were on hand to pay back all players worldwide.
"We have shown that we have the funds necessary to repay player debts," Tapie says.
"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."
While he said there was a long way to go before the deal could be finalized, he did say the Full Tilt brand would continue to live on:
"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."