PokerStars Addresses Rumors of Full Tilt Poker Buy
Groupe Bernard Tapie's Acquisition Attempts Have Failed
PokerStars responded Tuesday to rumors that it’s in talks to acquire defunct Full Tilt Poker.
Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications, said in a statement:
“We’ve had a lot of enquiries and there’s lots of speculation on the forums, so I wanted to address the PokerStars chatter. As you know, PokerStars is in settlement discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice. As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on rumors. As soon as we have information to share publicly we will do so.”
At around 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Chilipoker CEO Alexandre Dreyfus Tweeted that PokerStars will purchase the former rival for $750 million and repay $330 million of beleaguered player funds, after failed attempts by Groupe Bernard Tapie to acquire the company.
Dreyfus could not be reached for further contact.
eGaming Review Magazine reported Tuesday that the French investment firm released a statement saying its deal with the U.S. government was marred with “unresolvable” legal issues.
GBT said: “[…] [W]e can only assume that PokerStars determined that it was willing to accept these legal and financial risks in order to resolve its own legal situation with DOJ. ”
The Department of Justice declined to comment Tuesday and told Card Player that it can’t provide confirmation.
The rumored price tag for Full Tilt Poker during the GBT negotiations was $80 million.
Attempts to obtain comment from Behn Dayanim, attorney for GBT, and Jeff Ifrah, attorney for indicted Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar, were also unsuccessful.
In September 2011, the U.S. government accused Full Tilt Poker and its principals of operating a Ponzi scheme by defrauding poker players out of $440 million. The civil case is still pending.
PokerStars also left the U.S. market in April 2011 after the Department of Justice indicted 11 individuals associated with offshore Internet gambling.
Stay tuned to Card Player for more information.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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