Bernard Tapie Buys FTP from USDOJ

12/29/2011
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

The French investment firm Groupe Bernard Tapie owned by French business mogul Bernard Tapie has just purchased Fill Tilt Poker, the popular internet poker site shut down by the U.S. Dept. of Justice last April, for a sum of $80 million.  The purchase took place directly between the French firm and the USDOJ who had essentially acquired the custody over the assets after seizing FTP’s gambling license.

 

The deal does not, however, end with a clear cut purchase.  When Full Tilt Poker was suddenly closed down, millions of customers became unable to access their accounts overnight.  The exact details over who bears the responsibility for returning these funds to their rightful owners have yet to be completely hammered out.  One possible deal would be for the USDOJ to return the monies to all the American clients; their assets amount to about $150 million.  That would leave the international clientele to GBT who are looking at having to return about $240 million of withheld accounts.

 

With such a large initial investment, such a large debt, and a revoked gambling license, one might ask what Bernard Tapie is getting himself into.  However, those familiar with the French millionaire know that he became rich doing exactly this – buying out business in dire straights and rebuilding them for massive profits – so it’s safe to say he knows what he’s doing.

 

Once GBT attains full ownership of Full Tilt Poker, they should be able to get relicensing.  At that stage, the ball is in Tapie’s court if he wants to relaunch the casino and retain the Full Tilt Poker name or if he wants to use the platform for different ventures. 

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