Qualified bids received by January 22 were reviewed by the company and the creditors committee. Through an auction process that lasted 22 hours yesterday and today, the successful bidders were determined, and the hearing to approve the sales took place this afternoon. Ten bidders participated in the proceedings, including bids for the entire company as well as for individual assets. The sales are expected to close tomorrow, January 24.
Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. had submitted a “stalking horse” bid for substantially all of THQ’s assets in December 2012. In accordance with Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the Court supervised an auction to determine the highest and best bid(s) for the company’s assets in accordance with the bid procedures approved by the Court.
During the auction process, which lasted over 22 hours, the final conclusion was that the separate-asset bids would net more than a single buyer for the majority of the company.
Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.
The Court approved the sales of three of THQ’s owned studios and games in development, as well as Evolve, a working title under development at Turtle Rock Studios, Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Under the terms of the agreements with the successful and approved bidders, the THQ estate will receive approximately $72 million, making the total estimated value of the estate $100 million including certain assets and other intellectual properties which were excluded from the sale.
The Court approved the sale of Relic Studios to Sega Corporation for $26.6 million; the sale of Chicago-based development studio Volition Inc. and Metro: Last Light to Koch Media GmbH for $22.3 million and $5.9 million, respectively; the sale of Homefront 2 to Crytek GmbH for $0.5 million; the sale of Evolve to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. for $10.9 million; and the sale of THQ Montreal and South Park: The Stick of Truth to Ubisoft LLC for $2.5 million and $3.3 million, respectively. In addition to the team at THQ Montreal, Ubisoft also acquired a new, yet-to-be announced IP in development at the studio. Excluded from the sales were the company’s publishing businesses, Vigil Games, and certain other assets and intellectual properties, which will remain part of the THQ estate and will continue in the Chapter 11 process.
Brian Farrell, Chairman and CEO of THQ, noted, “While we had hoped that the restructuring process would allow the company to remain intact, I am heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership. It has been my pleasure to work alongside this great group of people, and I am proud of the imaginative and artistic games that our team has created. Although we will no longer be able to work together with a unified mission, I am confident that the talent we have assembled will continue to make an impression on the video game industry. For those whose positions are not likely to continue, I sincerely regret this outcome and we will be meeting with you over the next few days to discuss the transition.”“This deal adds experienced developers to our internal creative teams at a key moment in the cycle of the video game industry,” said Yannis Mallat, president of Ubisoft Montreal.
Jason Rubin, President of THQ, added, “I was brought in eight months ago to help turn this ship around, and while I’m disappointed that we could not effect a sale for the entire operating business, I am pleased that the new buyers will be providing jobs to many of our very talented personnel. When we first announced the sale process, I said I would be happy if the company’s games and people had a bright future, even if it meant I did not have a job at the end of it. And I still feel that way.”
“Koch Media welcomes the addition of these magnificent franchises to the Koch Media family of entertainment properties,” said Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media GmbH. “With more than 200 games on notable platforms globally, and its proven success creating renowned franchises like Dead Island, Deep Silver is perfectly positioned to lead these brands into the next generation of interactive entertainment for fans around the world.”
“These franchises hold a special place in the hearts and minds of anyone who loves exceptional video games,” said Geoff Mulligan, COO of Deep Silver, Inc. “We’re thrilled to usher in a new era for these franchises and are proud to welcome the visionaries and talented forces at Volition on board.”
The new owners have not articulated their plans for the assets, or their intentions to extend employment to THQ employees included in the sale. THQ expects the new owners to extend employment to most employees and to continue development of the games they purchased that are currently in development. The assets that are not included in the sale agreements will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. THQ will continue to seek appropriate buyers, if possible.
THQ will continue to employ a small number of headquarters staff beyond January 25 to assist with the transition.