Friday, 11 January 2013

More THQ News

This time 'gone a courtin' has an entirely different meaning.

In what's proving to be an ongoing saga, THQ seems to be well into the stages of having its assets being sold to any interested party with enough money to throw at them.

It would appear that in spite of some protestations on the part of creditors, that the courts have approved the decision for THQ to auction off their assets to the highest bidder.

This is where things get interesting, and potentially bad depending on your feelings regarding some of the prospective buyers.

As the article about the auction mentions:

"All bids for the entire company or individual assets are due by 9 a.m. ET on Jan. 22, with the auction taking place at 3 p.m on the same day. A hearing is scheduled for the following morning at 9:30 a.m. The auction's closing will take place on Jan. 24."

What this means is that although we might see the whole of THQ sold to someone -- at this point the Clearlake Capital Group does appear to be one of the front-runners  -- we could also see individual franchises and studios, or even pieces of studios like certain teams, going to the highest bidder.

At the moment it seems like there are five potential competitors for the assets that THQ is offering. There's the aforementioned Clearlake Capital Group, and a strong possibility of Distressed Debt Investing, a group owned by Warner Bros, getting in on the action as well. Although not confirmed it also probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Electronic Arts and Ubisoft might be among the potential candidates for asset acquisition.

Admittedly, a lot of gamers have somewhat mixed feelings regarding EA and Ubisoft to say the least, but if either company is particularly keen on acquiring a particular asset then it's simply beyond the control of the fanbase to decide where it's going to end up. I don't think that either company would fully subsume THQ, especially not with the reported issues that EA has been experiencing as of late.

It may be the plan for the CCG to attempt to buy the entire studio, which of course would keep everything intact. Whether or not there's potential for offers to take individual pieces the overall number to beat at the moment seems to be the $60 million offering from the CCG. Now, if anyone is planning on beating that number, and if so by how much, is something being kept close to the chest at the moment.

On an unrelated note, please expect next week to be somewhat of a light posting week. There are some personal matters that I need to attend to, so maybe look forward to two or three posts. Things will get back to normal after that though, so no need to worry.

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