THQ files for bankruptcy

Struggling publisher files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has entered into asset purchase agreement with bidder to sell nearly all of company's assets, including four wholly-owned studios and games.


Beleaguered Saints Row publisher THQ has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company announced today. The company has entered into an asset purchase agreement with a bidder to acquire "substantially all of the assets of THQ's operating business." This includes THQ's four wholly-owned studios and games in development.

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"The sale will allow THQ to shed certain legacy obligations and emerge with the strong financial backing of a new owner with substantial experience in software and technology," the company said in a statement.

THQ's day-to-day operations will not be affected during the sale period, the company said. Every THQ studio remains open and development on all projects is unaffected. No layoffs are expected to be a result of the filing. Employees will continue to work on their usual schedules and will receive their previously agreed upon compensation and benefits.

THQ's international operations, including those in Canada, are not included in the filings. Additionally, the company said it has obtained about $37.5 million in financing commitments from lenders Clearlake and Wells Fargo. These investments are subject to court approval.

"The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ’s transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios, and THQ’s deep bench of talent," said THQ CEO Brian Farrell in a statement. "We are grateful to our outstanding team of employees, partners and suppliers who have worked with us through this transition. We are pleased to have attracted a strong financial partner for our business, and we hope to complete the sale swiftly to make the process as seamless as possible."

Clearlake estimates THQ's assets are worth approximately $60 million, which includes a new $10 million note for the benefit of THQ's creditors. THQ expects to complete to sale process in the next 30 days.

"We have incredible, creative talent here at THQ," new THQ president Jason Rubin said. "We look forward to partnering with experienced investors for a new start as we will continue to use our intellectual property assets to develop high-quality core games, create new franchise titles, and drive demand through both traditional and digital channels."

THQ has a range of games in development. These include Saints Row 4, Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2, and an unannounced project from former Assassin's Creed developer Patrice Désilets at the company's Montreal studio.

THQ stock will be delisted from NASDAQ in nine days.

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