THQ files for bankruptcy protection, arranges sale

Publisher will continue operations uninterrupted as it plans to sell "substantially all" of its assets; Clearlake Capital Group offers $60 million package

THQ has voluntarily entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a process to sell off substantially all of its assets. The publisher today announced that it has entered into a deal with Clearlake Capital Group that will see the firm act as a "stalking horse bidder" for THQ.

Clearlake's offer totals roughly $60 million, although its stalking horse status means other parties can submit competing bids. If none do, THQ has asked the bankruptcy court to finalize the sale to Clearlake in 30 days.

THQ has said it will continue to operate as usual in the interim, pending court approval. The company's four studios will continue to operate, its employees will continue to be paid, and consumers and retail partners should not notice any changes. The publisher also specified that no layoffs are planned as part of the plan.

Through the sale process, THQ will be allowed "to shed certain legacy obligations and emerge with the strong financial backing of a new owner with substantial experience in software and technology." In conjunction with the sale, the publisher has also obtained financing commitments of about $37.5 million from Wells Fargo.

THQ indicated last month that it was negotiating "financing alternatives" with an unnamed sponsor. At the same time, the publisher announced that its CFO Paul Pucino was resigning from his post after four years, with no replacement named.

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Latest comments (16)

We all hope that Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection will force a better executive approach to business - I would also wish those in the studios to be 'sold' the best in the current conditions. I just wonder what this says about the viability of the current star system of publisher / developers - is there any good business examples - especially ones that do not have to depend on KS projects to fund their operation?
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 9 years ago
I doubt anyone will offer more than 60 million for them as even thats probably atleast twice as much as what they are currently worth.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game9 years ago
@Paul, not if it means they don't come with the debts that are driving the price down.
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Show all comments (16)
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
Damn. Lost another bet, as I thought they'd at LEAST make it into 2013 before this happened. Well, let;s hope the properties get picked up by good hands and are delivered to gamers as polished products. Hm. I should probably buy Darksiders II for the Wii U, as it's supposed to be quite good.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers9 years ago
I just hope that they remain afloat long enough that the South Park game comes out - that game has huge potential.
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JT QA, Rockstar Lincoln9 years ago
Metro: Last Light please quick!
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Aaron Brown BA Computer Science Student, Carnegie Mellon University9 years ago
I hope thq can stay afloat and remain relevant as a publisher in some way shape or form. There is definitely light over the horizon for them. Their confirmed IP Metro Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, and the South Park game all look like good games with solid profit potential.
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>"The president of THQ says that the publisher's filing for bankruptcy protection and a proposed purchase by investment firm Clearlake Capital Group "does not mean the end of the THQ story or the end of the titles you love," in a letter to the community posted by Jason Rubin."

Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 20th December 2012 2:34am

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Shane Sweeney Academic 9 years ago
Well given another 30 years all the big video game publishers will be owned by the old media companies, is it time for the likes of a Disney or GE to buy a video games division?

Probably not yet.
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent9 years ago
People's jobs, lives, livelihoods. That's what's important here.

Whether THQs games still make it out of the door is a secondary, comprehensible concern, but taking the role of 'Captain Hindsight' and assigning blame with I-told-you-so snarkiness is in, quite frankly, appalling taste.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Howdle on 20th December 2012 8:13am

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The potential positive is, THQ can offload and slim down and re emerge as a publisher/developer of quality games
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 9 years ago
I am praying very hard for saints row 4...
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 9 years ago
Im ok with the sale, I just hope whoever buys the company, leaves the temas and studios the same. They put ou really good games. i just think THQ just doesnt have the muscle to push there products out the door like activision or EA can. I clearly love Saints Row more than Grand Theft Auto. And Darksiders should get a 3rd game. I played Saints Row the 3rd twice, from beginning to end. And I really cant put it down. Sometimes Ill find myself popping it in my console again to give it a go.
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I'm taking odds on:
- Atari
- Ubisoft
- Rockstar
- Activision
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Laura Roberts Manager 9 years ago
Wishing the employees at THQ the best.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
Well, Dan... maybe if things would change so that companies can't file for Chapter 11 until they help their soon to be former employees move onto new employment (even at the cost of the salaries of executives who often get a nice package and a safe, soft landing), there wouldn't be ANY shark.

Sure, I'm betting there's not too many CEO's and such who'd give up a year's pay (or more) or make investments in people over product so that the many working for and under them would be able to eat and pay rent after if they can't get a new job in a timely manner. That said, perhaps we'll see a shift to actual humane business practices (at leat in certain industries where no one cares about the little guy until they're losing their jobs)...
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