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Full Tilt Financing May Involve Player Investment

According to sources close to The Wall Street Journal, the acquisition of Full Tilt by Groupe Bernard Tapie could involve offering equity stakes to customers with the largest balances online. However, no details were provided on how such equity shares would be calculated.

In talks with Agence France Presse over the weekend, Bernard Tapie suggested that if a deal is completed, he only expects to retain a 5-10% stake in Full Tilt. Bernard indicated that the 5-10% would be held by the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT), a production company in which Groupe Bernard Tapie has a 30% stake.

Behnam Dayanim, an attorney for Laurent Tapie, told The Wall Street Journal that the family hasn’t determined how large an investment or stake Groupe Bernard Tapie would make. Dayanim did confirm, however, that “the Tapies may address Full Tilt’s liabilities by offering equity in a revived company to poker players owed the most money.”

The family is also seeking new investment from the site’s existing owners, who wouldn’t be involved in managing the company, Dayanim said. However, the Department of Justice may not allow current owners to continue with the company.

Representatives of Groupe Bernard Tapie met with the Department of Justice on Monday. Laurent Tapie is expected to be in charge of Full Tilt if the deal closes.

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