Hot on the heels of reports that French company Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) was applying for a Spanish online gaming license, Subject: Poker has reported that GBT has reached an agreement with Full Tilt Poker (FTP) shareholders to transfer FTP’s assets to the US Department of Justice (DoJ). Multiple sources told S:P that a majority of FTP shareholders had signed off on the agreement, a necessary step in the $80m asset forfeiture deal worked out between GBT and the DoJ last month.
Under the terms of that November deal, GBT would assume responsibility for making good on the estimated $150m owed to FTP players outside America, while the DoJ would handle reimbursements to US players. The civil charges brought against FTP via the Black Friday indictments would be dropped, but the criminal charges against FTP and individuals like Ray Bitar will remain.
Current FTP shareholders looking to retain equity in a reconstituted FTP will reportedly have to pay for that privilege, and any new shares they purchase will not come with voting privileges. Members of the old FTP board – some of whom under indictment by the DoJ – will be excluded from any ownership position in the new company. The next step in the process will be working out the actual forfeiture to the DoJ so that GBT can formalize the purchase of the forfeited assets. There is no timeline on when this might be achieved (especially with this agreement coming as it does during the holiday crush), but Bernard Tapie’s son Laurent reportedly appeared in person in Dublin (where FTP’s technical back end subsidiary Pocket Kings is based) to brief employees on the situation.