Wednesday, September 28, 2011 : More erratic communications on acquisition deal
Full Tilt Poker's communication tactics, which seem to rely heavily on one-off tips by lawyers and "sources close to the negotiations" rather than formal and widely distributed media statements, took a new turn Tuesday with Twitter disclosures by an online poker broadcaster.
The disclosures concern investment or acquisition negotiations involving a French investor that have reportedly been ongoing for some weeks as the cash-strapped company desperately seeks new funding to – hopefully – pay its players.
TwoPlusTwo Pokercast host Adam Schwartz was the man behind the tweet, who wrote: "Heard a rumor that the FTP sale to French investors was done."
This somewhat ad hoc announcement triggered a wave of interest, prompting Schwartz to assure those interested on the twoplustwo message board that his source was impeccable.
"I was told by what I feel (and most of you would too btw) is a very reputable source. The person doesn't want me to say their name," he claimed.
"Obviously I wouldn't have said it if someone sitting next to me in the $1/$2 game told me. If some of you are unhappy that I tweeted it, what can I say, I felt it was worthy of some confidence."
There has been speculation that the source may be FTP legal representative Jeff Ifrah, who has featured prominently in earlier comments to several online poker publications, but that has not been confirmed by any corroboratory information.
Ifrah has reportedly been in France as part of the FTP negotiating team.
In his last ‘informal' briefing, Ifrah is alleged to have revealed that the mystery French investor has the financial wherewithal to close a deal, but is making an agreement conditional on the decision of the Alderney Gaming Control Commission regarding FTP's licence, suspended earlier this year by the Commission on non-payment of licence fees and concerns regarding player payment.
"The investors are totally committed to doing this – we've met with them and seen the funds," Ifrah reportedly told an online poker information site. "Their primary concern right now is the AGCC's decision on Full Tilt's licence. The investor's position is that if Alderney revokes the license, they won't go through with the deal because it makes things too difficult."
Ifrah is alleged to have revealed that the French investors have travelled to Alderney, one of the Channel Isles, to discuss their concerns directly with the licensing commissioners.
"They [the French investors] called and volunteered to discuss their commitment directly with the commissioners," said Ifrah. "Without hesitation, they are prepared to review the terms of their offer. Additionally, they've hired a prominent and respected lawyer in the gaming industry and are setting up a meeting with the DOJ to try and work out the issues Full Tilt has in the U.S."
The AGCC has not proved communicative or transparent on the FTP affair, holding two hearings from which the public and media were excluded, and offering little in the way of useful statements.
The last "official" and properly distributed press statement from Fulltilt Poker was released earlier this week, but added nothing new to the more informal comments by legal representatives that had preceded it days ahead.