Interplay reopens, Titus declares bankruptcy

[UPDATE] French authorities suspend trading of Interplay's corporate parent while the publisher acquires workers' compensation insurance.

Just days after California authorities forced Interplay to close its doors, the publisher has apparently reopened them. A late-breaking report from The Orange County Register says that CEO Herve Caen succeeded in acquiring workers' compensation insurance for the financially ailing company, thereby allowing work to resume at its Irvine, California, offices. The offices were forcibly closed Friday by state labor inspectors due to lack of workers' compensation insurance and unpaid wages.

Ironically, the good news for Interplay came on the same day the publisher's majority shareholder, France-based Titus Interactive, declared bankruptcy. Speaking to GameSpot, sources close to the developing story said they heard news of the bankruptcy from Caen himself. Caen founded Titus in 1985 with his brother, Eric.

According to the news service AOF, Titus has entered redressment judiciare, the French form of receivership. For the layman, receivership is a form of bankruptcy in which a company can avoid liquidation by reorganizing with the help of a court-appointed trustee. The Tribunal of Commerce of Meaux halted the trading of Titus shares midday yesterday at 0.16 euros ($0.20) per share. Titus stock will remain suspended pending a review of Titus' finances and those of its two French subsidiaries, developer Sofra Games and distributor Avalon France.

Until October 6, Titus "will enter into a period of observation during which it intends to continue negotiations on the possible sale of assets" in order to avoid liquidation, which is the usual outcome of redressment judiciare. No specific assets were mentioned as being on the block, although last week, Titus founder Herve Caen told GameSpot he was "working on a lot of deals" regarding Interplay and its properties.

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