Atari agrees to Infogrames buyout

The company announced today it had reached a deal to consolidate its American operations by buying the rest of Atari.

Infogrames, still smarting from the rejection that it suffered at the hands of SCi Entertainment, has some success to celebrate at last. The company announced today that it had agreed to a deal to consolidate its American operations by buying Atari--in which it already had a majority shareholding--outright.

The two companies have been linked for some time; in 2003, Infogrames adopted the Atari name for all of its global commercial operations, having bought a majority shareholding in Atari earlier that same year. Atari restructured its operations in 2007 to focus on publishing and distributing titles in the US, whereas Atari Europe continued with game development and publishing.

The acceptance of the merger was announced yesterday after the US markets closed. The deal will let Infogrames buy all "outstanding equity interests" of its American subsidiary Atari, Inc. at $1.68 a share, giving the deal a total value of approximately $11 million. David Gardner, who became chief executive of Infogrames in January after a stint at Electronic Arts, said, "Bringing Atari US and Infogrames' businesses together will enable us to create a simplified global structure for our business as we seek to rebuild a well-managed, cohesive, and financially disciplined company."

Atari's current management team will stay in place and "remain focused on growing the key North American gaming market." Jim Wilson, president and CEO of Atari, indicated that the deal gave his company a "stronger platform for growth." It also means that Atari will no longer face the threat of being forcibly delisted from the NASDAQ, an issue it faced up to in 2007, and was hit by again in 2008.

As part of the deal, Infogrames is committed to lending Atari $20 million "to cover expected capital requirements," according to the company's statement. Infogrames most recently loaned Atari $5 million as an advance on the royalties from future sales of its Test Drive series, as part of a deal to license the franchise. In 2007, Atari noted in an SEC filing that its total debts raised "substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern."

The deal is still subject to shareholder approval, but it is not expected to be delayed. Atari expects to call a special meeting of shareholders to consider the merger in the third quarter of calendar year 2008.

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Discussion

19 comments
The_InJimid8tor
The_InJimid8tor

Oh a TDU:2 or another expansion pack would be welcomed! I loved TDU! Still do! One of my all time favorite Racing games!

Coey-69
Coey-69

Yeah its a good move. I wonder if their will be a TDU2.

JangoWuzHere
JangoWuzHere

well we will see were this goes because Atrai was in a bad enough condition and mabye this will fix that

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

So now five years after they filed for chapter 7, Atari is officially dead and giving everything to Infogrames? R.I.P. Atari Corp (1972-2003) R.I.P. Atari Games (1996-2008) And runstalker, Jack Tremiel and Howard Kassir can burn in hell for all enternity! They're the **** responsible for Atari's demise. Kassir told Warshaw to make ET(meaning Kassir is behind the 1984 CRASH!!!) and Tremiel tore the company apart piece by piece. Hell, he even had the nerve to launch the dated 7800 right in front of the NES and brand NEW Sega Master System(no wonder why that POS failed!) The begining of the end for Atari actaully came in 1980 when Nolan Bushnell was fired after selling the company to Warner Comunications. FYI, Bushnell did the right thing. He was worried that by 1983 the company's stock would only be worth about $26 million, selling the company to Warner would make the value increase. But the idiots at Atari got greedy and fired Bushnell. And instead hired Howard Kassir a former stock broker. But unlike Bushell, Kassir thought that video games were more about making money then about entertainment so he used Atari's name to make money and was responsible for the disasters like the 5200, Pacman 2600 and ET! Atari thought that the 1984 departure of Kassir would make things better, instead Tremiel who hated home consoles instead invested WAY too much into PC gaming which was too competitive at that time, retired the 2600 until 1987, and sold Atari's arcade division to SEGA. He even rejected Nintendo's offer to help market theFamicom/ NES under the name NAVS(Nintendo Advanced Video System)! So yeah, Kassir and Tremiel: Go to Hell!!!!!!

cooldude03
cooldude03

Alright Infograms now that your finanial prepared to support games development. The world (at least me) wants Earthworm Jim. Make it happen, my money is waiting.

Pete5506
Pete5506

lol I like what tyzwain said

tyzwain
tyzwain

Lol, Ataris becoming the village bicycle...everyone gets a go

ryo_strife24
ryo_strife24

Look at the bright side at least they didn't get bought out by EA :) Alone in the Dark is still shaping up to be a solid game, and DBZ burst limit to me may be a solid fighter also.

mrkame16
mrkame16

Alone in the Dark...im gettin it, hopefully it will help them gain revenue as long as they market it properly.

Franzkill
Franzkill

V-RALLY 2 was such a terrific game for the PS-One (developed by Infogrames). Wish they continued the series though

nobeaner
nobeaner

One thing I know for sure is I am definitely interested in getting Alone in the Dark. That is one bright spot for me from Atari. As far as Dragonball Z is concerned... I have no interest in that series.

runstalker
runstalker

Please, for once and for all, educate yourself on the Prostitution of the Atari Brand Name throughout history. It hasn't been the OG retro Atari since '85. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari Me personally, I'm a big fan of the Tramiel era of Atari Corp. They approved some pretty brave hardware and sweet partnerships like Epyx. The modern Hasbro/Infogrames era of software-only Atari has been far too inconsistent. ~ As for modern Atari's good publishing choices like Indigo Prophecy, The Witcher, etc. Yeah I applaud it, but the fact is a game like The Witcher might have been ridiculously successful (even better than the 650k it sold) under a stronger publisher. The Witcher was more game than Atari could handle/willing to expense.

ottumatic
ottumatic

Marketing is what their games need. Good marketing that is. Bad games still sell well because good use of misleading images and developer's words. Search Fable if you want an example.

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

It was coming to Atari to be bought out. For years know, Atari have been suffering from lowering revenue.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Atari paid the price for doing what so many gamers say they want - innovation. Remember that Atari released Fahrenheit and The Witcher, two innovative games. They also stuck with Boiling Point through thick and thin, meaning 2.0 B.P was acceptable. Finally, it took on C&C with the superior Act of War RTS game and of course it published Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2. So say a goodbye to the real Atari and risk taking games like the above, and say hello to Infogrames, safe boring hands.....

EPaul
EPaul

Hope this doesn't affect DBZ Limit Burst

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

It's too bad Atari hasn't been doing so well recently. I mean, I've enjoyed more than my fair share of Test Drive Unlimited and The Witcher, both great games. Unfortunately, I seem to get attracted to the unappreciated titles, so even my money might be trivial. I hope that it stays though; not for nostalgia, but just for enjoyment.