Groupe Bernard Tapie in New Venture


After lack of success with FTP, the Groupe regroups and pursue another plan

It seems like French Groupe Bernard Tapie does not intend to stop pursuing its poker ambitions. Namely, after unsuccessful nine months of negotiations on the acquisition of beleaguered Full Tilt Poker, the group does not give up, but rather moves to another venture.

Rumor has it that Laurent Tapie, son of the group's owner and the one who pushes the online poker plans ahead, attempted to get 16 key employees of FTP poker parent Pocket Kings, to move and work on a new poker site to be run by the recently registered Tapie company Game Cubed.

He apparently made the offer conditional on the acceptance of all 16 employees, and offered them the same salary they are currently being paid, along with the possibility of stock options.

It was reportedly said in a leaked email from which the info was obtained: "I will do this only if I can attract all of the Pocket Kings key staff to join me. With your help and know-how, we will launch a new website that will be best of breed in 6-7 months.

"I know that any such step requires a leap of faith, so here is my offer: as of May 1, I will hire the entire Pocket Kings key staff – every single one of you – at your current salaries and with your accumulated benefits intact. I also will include stock options in the new company, so that we all will share in what I believe to be the exciting upside this opportunity represents."

Judging by all this, Tapie seeks to develop new software and branding, and to attract former Full Tilt ROW players by offering to credit their FTP losses if they migrate to the new site.

This move had apparently been made by Tapie Jr. before a statement that GBT is withdrawing from the FTP deal was issued, and so far it is not known whether the employees have accepted his offer.

Furthermore, Tapie reportedly wrote in the email that the US Department of Justice in the end refused to accept the Group’s proposal for repayment of the FTP players on April 14, 2012, because it wanted GBT to pay back 100 percent of the $184 million owed to ROW players within 90 days.

GBT lawyers have declined to comment on the leaked email, so there’ no official confirmation of its content so far.

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