Daily News: January 24, 2013

Court Grants Motion to Approve Sale of THQ Assets


THQ, a worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware granted a motion to approve a sale of the majority of THQ’s assets to multiple buyers. The company expects the court to enter a formal order Thursday, January 24.

The court approved the sales of three THQ-owned studios and games in development, as well as Evolve, a working title under development at Turtle Rock Studios, Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Under the terms of the agreements with the successful and approved bidders, the THQ estate will receive approximately $72 million, making the total estimated value of the estate $100 million including certain assets and other intellectual properties which were excluded from the sale.

The court approved the sale of Relic Studios to Sega Corporation for $26.6 million; the sale of Volition and Metro: Last Light to Koch Media GmbH for $22.3 million and $5.9 million, respectively; the sale of Homefront 2 to Crytek GmbH for $500,000; the sale of Evolve to Take-Two Interactive Software for $10.9 million; and the sale of THQ Montreal and South Park: The Stick of Truth to Ubisoft for $2.5 million and $3.3 million, respectively. Excluded from the sales were the company’s publishing businesses, Vigil Games, and certain other assets and intellectual properties, which will remain part of the THQ estate and will continue in the Chapter 11 process.

Brian Farrell, chairman and CEO of THQ, noted, “While we had hoped that the restructuring process would allow the company to remain intact, I am heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership. It has been my pleasure to work alongside this great group of people, and I am proud of the imaginative and artistic games that our team has created. Although we will no longer be able to work together with a unified mission, I am confident that the talent we have assembled will continue to make an impression on the video game industry. For those whose positions are not likely to continue, I sincerely regret this outcome and we will be meeting with you over the next few days to discuss the transition.”

Jason Rubin, president of THQ, added, “I was brought in eight months ago to help turn this ship around, and while I’m disappointed that we could not effect a sale for the entire operating business, I am pleased that the new buyers will be providing jobs to many of our very talented personnel. When we first announced the sale process, I said I would be happy if the company’s games and people had a bright future, even if it meant I did not have a job at the end of it. And I still feel that way.”

The new owners have not articulated their plans for the assets, or their intentions to extend employment to THQ employees included in the sale. THQ expects the new owners to extend employment to most employees and to continue development of the games they purchased that are currently in development. The assets that are not included in the sale agreements will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. THQ will continue to seek appropriate buyers, if possible.

THQ will continue to employ a small number of headquarters staff beyond January 25 to assist with the transition.

Qualified bids received by January 22 were reviewed by the company and the creditors committee. Through an auction process that lasted 22 hours Tuesday, January 22 and Wednesday, January 23, the successful bidders were determined, and the hearing to approve the sales took place Wednesday afternoon. Ten bidders participated in the proceedings, including bids for the entire company as well as for individual assets. The sales are expected to close Thursday, January 24.

Previously on abfjournal.com:

Court Approves THQ Amended Sale Calendar, Wednesday, January 09, 2013