A number of factors keep popping into the limelight as Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT), a French investment company, gets closer to completing its acquisition of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) and its assets. While some of these factors might have an adverse effect on the acquisition, some have nothing to do with it.
Currently, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson is believed to be hindering the acquisition of FTP by GBT. Poker news reports state that post Black Friday, Ferguson invested $14.3 million into FTP to prevent it from collapsing. He invested all these million not out of love for FTP or its players, but because he expected a large share of the company once it pulled itself to its feet.
Ferguson, who is one of the owners of FTP, also received $60 million from the company from 2007. He considered his investment into the company post Black Friday as a gesture of good will and hoped to get a secure position in the company once it recovered the shock of Black Friday. However, according to deals signed with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), no former owner of FTP can become a share holder in the company after the GBT takes over FTP completely.
While there is no evidence that Ferguson is preventing GBT’s takeover of FTP, many online poker players are furious with Ferguson and are calling him harsh names. These anti-Ferguson players firmly believe that he is partly responsible for FTP’s pathetic condition and that he is now trying to hinder the takeover, preventing FTP’s ex players from getting back their money.
Simultaneously, GBT’s legal representative Benham Dayanim has stated that some professional poker players, previously associated with FTP, owe the company millions of dollars and these debts are delaying the acquisition. Dayanim has named these players as Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, Eric Lindgren, and Mike Matusow. GBT recently discovered that these players owed the company money after thoroughly investigating the online poker room’s financial condition.
In an interview with Gaming Intelligence, Dayanim stated, “This is not the only issue that is holding up the sale but it is a significant one. The company has greater liabilities — excluding player liabilities — than we had hoped. The forfeiture would extinguish any U.S. claims to the assets but they do not necessarily extinguish creditor claims in other countries.”
In spite of all these problems, Dayanim is confident that GBT will take over FTP and its assets completely by February end.