Long-running UK publisher Mastertronic has officially entered administration after a long period of battling with debt and searching for new finance. CEO Andy Payne says that a deal is in place to buy the company's assets and retain its staff, but that he will no longer be employed by the firm. Mastertronic was founded in 1983.
"Its official - Mastertronic is now in administration," said Payne in a statement released to GamesIndustry.biz. "There is a deal to buy the assets of the business and retain the existing team from a new investor who wants to get involved. "How did we get here? Well we signed an investment deal with a Bahrain/Qatar based organisation back in February 2015 which would have seen our majority Dutch shareholder exit and be replaced by these new shareholding investors and the company financed going forward. Sadly, this organisation did not honour the contract and as a direct result have put us in the position we find ourselves in today. We made strategic investments into game development, based on this investment deal. When the Middle Eastern investors reneged on the deal, it left us desperately needing an alternative investor. Sadly we failed to find one in time.
"The new company will focus on flight and train simulation only and I will not be employed by the new company, although I may be asked to advise, and my future is now in my own hands again."
The firm's future had been in doubt since the middle of last year, when it applied for a CVA to avoid a winding up order. Shortly afterwards, a deal was signed with creditors to create a feasible debt repayment plan in order to keep the company afloat. Nonetheless, 40 per cent of staff were made redundant and the firm closed down its retail business entirely.