POKERSTARS TO ACQUIRE FULL TILT POKER (Update)
24th April, 2012 at 13:30:57Source: http://www.bluffed.net
Shock news confirmed by withdrawal statement from Groupe Bernard Tapie
Just when it appeared that the French firm Groupe Bernard Tapie was about to re-launch the moribund Full Tilt Poker after almost a year of negotiating and manouevreing (see previous reports), everything changed Tuesday with the news that the world's biggest online poker operator, Isle of Man-based Pokerstars, is to acquire FTP.
Tuesday morning saw rumours start to spread that Pokerstars had reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice, paving the way for the acquisition to go ahead for a reported total cost of $750 million‚EURŠand for US players to at last get paid.
The DoJ deal is understood to be conditional on the payment of players, although neither party had made any official comment late Tuesday afternoon.
As the day wore on the speculation intensified on information sites like Pokerfuse, Twitter and twoplustwo, generally corroborating that Pokerstars is in the take-over seat.
Some numbers came from a Twitter posting by Chiligaming chief exec Alex Dreyfus, who claimed that $330 million of the reported $750 million purchase price would go to the payment of owed Full Tilt players and as a settlement with the US government.
Later in the day iGaming France reported that a Groupe Bernard Tapie statement had confirmed that the GBT deal had fallen through, citing "unresolvable legal complications" and failure to agree on a player repayment plan.
Message board speculation is that Pokerstars will re-launch Full Tilt Poker, but keep the brand separate from its own.
It is not known how the agreement will impact the criminal charges faced by Pokerstars' owner, billionaire Isai Scheinberg and his Isle of Man associate Paul Tate, who have been reportedly indicted in the US on allegations of UIGEA violations, operating an illegal gambling business, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
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