French investment firm Groupe Bernard Tapie has withdrawn its offer to acquire Full Tilt Poker, a lawyer involved in the negotiations told the Associated Press.
According to attorney Benham Dayanim, GBT's $80 million attempt to purchase the troubled poker site will not go through due to an inability to reach an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over how soon players would be repaid money that is due to them. Dayanim said that the DoJ changed their demand to players being paid within 90 days of the completion of the sale.
"We were not prepared to do that," Dayanim said. "The DoJ did not make that a deal-breaker until the very end."
In November of last year, GBT was given a letter of agreement by the DoJ, spelling out rough details as to how players would be repaid their balances. Under that letter, GBT would pay players outside of the United States, with American players sending claims to the DoJ. Current stockholders in Full Tilt would not have been allowed to be involved with the new company as part of that deal.
Dayanim said that the change came just as they were finalizing the deal with the DoJ. "Clearly, we understood that they were negotiating with another party," he said.
The deal also reportedly fell through because GBT could not get a clear understanding whether or not courts and creditors would see the buyout as being valid, blocking them from going after GBT for Full Tilt's debts. Dayanim says that the issue could have been resolved, but the DoJ's 90 day repayment demand made it impossible to pull off.
"Ultimately, we made the best offer we could make." the attorney said.