Unpaid Pro Debts “Serious Obstacle” in FTP Deal

Phil Ivey
Ivey debts holding up deal?

The lawyer for Groupe Bernard Tapie, the French investment group in the process of acquiring Full Tilt Poker, has indicated a series of unpaid debts accrued by former Full Tilt pros could be a major issue in closing the deal.

Behn Dayanim, the lawyer representing the Tapie Group, told pokerstrategy.com in an exclusive interview that the due diligence process has revealed Full Tilt’s financial situation to be “substantially worse” than anticipated.

In particular, outstanding debts to the company from pros including Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, David Benyamine, Erick Lindgren and Barry Greenstein could be problematic.

Said Dayanim:

"GBT doesn't want to acquire assets which will need to be litigated over later. In total, the sum owed to the company is between $10 and $20 million.

"Several of the players who owe money and have not yet expressed a willingness to pay their debts include Phil Ivey, Layne Flack, David Benyamine, and Erik Lindgren. Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, and others owe a smaller but still significant amount.

"If the money doesn't come in, it creates a serious obstacle to completion of the deal."

A signed agreement is in place between GBT and the US Department of Justice to purchase the assets of the former Full Tilt for $80 million, although the working through of several necessary conditions has taken more time than expected.

As recently as this past week however, Groupe Director Laurent Tapie has said he expects the deal to be completed by the end of February.

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