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Hurdles Remain in Full Tilt Sale

Groupe Bernard Tapie is still trying to complete its planned purchase of online poker site Full Tilt Poker, with lingering financial issues holding up the sale and eventual return of money owed to former US and international customers of the site.

A few weeks back stories surfaced that one roadblock to a completion of a deal was a claim by Chris Ferguson that he was owed millions by Full Tilt due to loaning the company funds from a personal account of Ferguson’s that was used for operating expenses in the wake of Black Friday.

More recent stories have emerged that Full Tilt is owed millions by poker players including Phil Ivey, Layne Flack, David Benyamine, Erick Lindgren, Barry Greenstein, and Mike Matusow.

Full Tilt reportedly extended the players personal loans on numerous occasions, with nearly $17 million currently owed by players to the company. Those missing funds are just one of several issues holding up the sale of Full Tilt, as lawyers and accountants at Groupe Bernard Tapie are working to uncover all the skeletons in Full Tilt’s closet and get a true picture of current assets and debts -- a process made difficult by the woeful accounting in place at Full Tilt.

In an interview with a prominent poker portal and forum a lawyer from Groupe Bernard Tapie had the following to say: “If the money doesn't come in, it creates a serious obstacle to completion of the deal. This isn't the only issue with the takeover, and the deal won't end on any one issue, but this is a substantial item.”

Groupe Bernard Tapie claimed that it released the info about money owed by pros when other attempts to collect on the debts failed; Barry Greenstein for one has taken issue with that statement, claiming that he’ll gladly repay the $400,000 he owes Full Tilt if he receives a guarantee that it will go towards refunding the estimates $200 million owed to US players (with an additional $200 million owed to international players as well).

10-Feb-2012, 07:11

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