EA interested in THQ assets - Report

Mass Effect publisher joins Warner Bros. as potential bidder for bankrupt publisher's franchises and studios; assets will be sold piecemeal.

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Mass Effect and FIFA publisher Electronic Arts has joined media giant Warner Bros. as a potential bidder for bankrupt publisher THQ's assets. Writing from inside a bankruptcy court hearing today, Distressed Debt Investing reported that not only is EA interested in THQ's franchises and studios, but the publisher "has completed site visits" as well.

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An EA representative declined to comment.

It was also revealed today in the court proceedings that stalking-horse bidder Clearlake Capital Group has agreed to allow bids for individual THQ titles. Previously, the firm was only planning to accept all-or-nothing bids, something creditors and US Trustee Roberta DeAngelis took issue with.

Last week, THQ banker Sam Greene revealed there were five active potential bidders for THQ's franchises and studios. EA and Warner Bros. are the only two named thus far, though Ubisoft had previously expressed interest in the company's games, with CEO Yves Guillemot saying in November, "They have good things."

What's more, Clearlake also moved today to extend its deadline for competing bids for its $60 million offer until January 15, an extension of five days over the previous January 10 end date. However, US Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath did not approve this timeline, saying it remained too short.

Parties later in the day agreed on a January 22 auction date, during which THQ assets can be purchased individually.

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