ONLINE POKER: French buyer confirms interest in Full Tilt Poker

This agreement, which includes the repayment of funds to Full Tilt Poker’s players in full, is subject to several conditions; the first of which is a favourable resolution with the United States Department of Justice. Discussions with the United States Department of Justice will begin immediately.

Speaking to, Tapie (pictured left), the son of controversial French businessman Bernard Tapie, said he “wouldn’t have undertaken such a project if he didn’t believe in its potential”.

Tapie wouldn’t be drawn on the specifics on how much money his company would put on the table, but said: “We have shown that we have the funds necessary to repay player debts. We want to find ways where we don’t have to put in all the money and will be talking to the US Department of Justice next week.”

He also confirmed the site would keep the Full Tilt Poker brand: “The brand is not in question, it’s a well-known brand and the technology is widely recognised as being possibly the best in the industry. The management of the company is being questioned and it will be changed (should the takeover be concluded). I believe we have the tools necessary to once again make the site one of the leaders in the online poker sector.”

Tapie added there was “still a long way to go” before the deal is definitely done but said he hoped to have the site reopened by January 2012. Groupe Bernard Tapie has more 30 years of experience in the salvation of financially distressed businesses, with more 40 companies acquired and managed to profitability, the most well-known being the sport equipment giant, adidas.

Bernard Tapie famously spent six months in jail after he was alleged to have fixed a French league match between Olympique de Marseille and Valenciennes in 1993. Tapie was president of Olympique de Marseille at the time. The club was stripped of its French Championship and relegated to the foot of the second division.

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