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Creditors cry foul over Oxygen buyout

UK businesses likely to be left out of pocket as CEO buys back assets in pre-pack deal

Creditors of defunct publisher Oxygen Games are up in arms over a pre-pack deal that has enabled the former CEO of the company to buy back the assets and IP of the publisher and continue trading as OG International.

Jim Scott, CEO of the company, has also taken on the 11 members of the staff that worked for the business before it went into administration, and will continue to sell Oxygen Games' products.

"It's good for the staff but it's not good for the creditors at all," said a senior exec who wished to remain anonymous.

"There's some fairly hefty bills outstanding and the question is how much of this has gone to the administrators, how much have they bought their own assets back for and what has been agreed to the creditors? Presumably, not anywhere near what it should have been," added the disgruntled source.

GamesIndustry.biz understands that creditors of Oxygen Games include publisher association ELSPA and data specialists GfK Chart-Track, amongst others.

Pre-pack administration deals are signed almost immediately, passing over the assets to previous management and allowing the new business to trade within days. However, they attract criticism from parties outside of the new company as they give the perception that the business has started afresh without the burden of debt and creditors.

OG International is a new name for Jim Scott's distribution and sales business - it was originally established as Pulse Games in 2004 and officially changed to OG International on September 17, 2009.

Oxygen Games informed shareholders it was going into administration last Thursday (October 8), and informed creditors the following day.

GamesIndustry.biz understands that creditors have not yet received any correspondence from Oxygen's insolvency firm FA Simms & Partners detailing the justification of the sale to OG International, nor valuation of assets or date of the sale. A meeting for creditors has not yet been finalised.

When approached by GamesIndustry.biz, FA Simms & Partners refused to answer any questions or detail the deal with OG International and Jim Scott.

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