“11th Hour Demands” by DOJ Forced GBT to Vacate Full Tilt Acquisition
Groupe Bernard Tapie has confirmed that the investment group has withdrawn from a deal with the US Department of Justice to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker.
According to a statement issued Tuesday, the deal collapsed—after several months of negotiations—as parties could not agree to timeliness of the repayment of non-US players.
There were also legal complications related to the forfeiture of FTP assets. GBT was concerned that it may be required to take on the liabilities of the company in some jurisdictions outside the US.
The statement comes after reports that reached an agreement to settle with the DOJ, and that the deal includes the purchase of FTP and full refund to players.
According to GBT, the DOJ made “a surprise demand … in the 11th hour” insisting that all players be repaid in full within 90 days. GBT had planned to repay nearly 95% of rest of world players in full on day 1. However, those players were owed only a small fraction of the total money owed to players.
Repayment plans would have required players with more than $100 balances to clear their balances by playing on the site—a process that in some cases could have taken years to complete—according to a report on Diamond Flush Poker.
The plan also included monthly penalties if players with uncleared balances did not initiate their balance-clearing requirements.
Further attempts to get the deal done saw GBT offering alternative plans that allowed the French investment company to “repay or otherwise make whole, at their discretion” outstanding balances within the next five years. This proposal also provided GBT the option of substituting “incentives or options” of equal value.
In addition, concerns that the acquisition of Full Tilt assets would also be seen by some countries as including Full Tilt’s liabilities played a part in GBT’s decision to abandon the deal.
In the end, the terms of the deal “ultimately proved too substantial to overcome.”