Midway gets $33 million Warner Bros. bid

Media giant offers to buy assets of bankrupt publisher, including Mortal Kombat and Wheelman; deal would not cover TNA license, San Diego and Newcastle studios.

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When it took back the Lord of the Rings license earlier this year, it was clear Time Warner was beefing up its game arm, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Today, the company made an offer that, if approved by the bankruptcy courts, would make the division positively brawny, thanks to the Mortal Kombat license.

A Warner buyout could portend a Batman film/Mortal Kombat cross-over.
A Warner buyout could portend a Batman film/Mortal Kombat cross-over.

This morning, Midway Games corporate communications director Geoffrey Mogilner confirmed to GameSpot that the media giant has put a bid down for most of the bankrupt publisher's assets. "Warner came in with an initial bid for $33 million for consideration for inventory, accounts receivable, and most of the US assets, including the Mortal Kombat and Wheelman assets," said the executive.

The offer does not include Midway's Newcastle (UK) and San Diego studios, nor the TNA Impact wrestling license, said Mogilner. Nor would it make the buyer assume any debt or liabilities of Midway, or entangle it in the legal actions surrounding its sale to a mystery buyer last year.

The "stalking horse" asset purchase agreement--so named by the vagaries of finance after the ungulates that helped the British hunt foxes--is the first step in a month-long court-supervised auction. "There's going to be a bidding process initiated as soon as there's a hearing to approve this motion for about 30 days," said Mogilner. "The bidding process ends with a hearing which will determine the winning bidder. It could be one group which buys pieces [of Midway], it could be one buyer that takes it all."

As for Warners' possible competitors, Moligner declined to name names. "There's a number of interested parties, but this is the first one that came forth with a written offer," he said.

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