THQ Files For Bankruptcy
THQ, WWE’s video game publisher, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will seek a buyer to help it recover from years of business and creative missteps.
The Agoura Hills, California company is working with private investment firm Clearlake Capital Group, which has agreed to enter a $60-million “stalking horse” bid for THQ’s U.S. assets. Any potential suitor for THQ would have to offer more than that.
WWE issued the following statement (via Daily Finance) regarding THQ’s bankruptcy filing:
“WWE is following the developments of THQ’s bankruptcy filing today and proposed sale under Bankruptcy Code Section 363. The Company anticipates actively participating within this proceeding.”
More details of the move were made available in the following press release.
THQ Inc. Secures Asset Purchase Agreement with Affiliates of Clearlake Capital Group, L.P.
Clearlake Offers to Acquire THQ’s Assets Via Section 363 under Chapter 11; Company Obtains Commitment for Interim Financing to Fund Operations Without Interruption
AGOURA HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 19, 2012– THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI), a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, today announced that it entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with a “stalking horse bidder,” affiliates of Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., to acquire substantially all of the assets of THQ’s operating business, including THQ’s four owned studios and games in development. 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.
To facilitate the sale, THQ and its domestic business units have filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The company’s foreign operations, including Canada, are not included in the filings. The company has obtained commitments from Wells Fargo and Clearlake for debtor-in possession (DIP) financing of approximately $37.5 million, subject to Court approval.
THQ will continue operating its business without interruption during the sale period, subject to Court approval of THQ’s first-day motions. All of the company’s studios remain open, and all development teams continue. The company remains confident in its existing pipeline of games. THQ maintains relationships with some of the top independent development studios around the globe. As part of the sale, the company is seeking approval to assume the contracts of these studios, and Clearlake will assume these contracts.
“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 Brian Farrell, Chairman and CEO of THQ. “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.”
According to Jason Rubin, who joined THQ as President last May, “We have incredible, creative talent here at THQ. 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.”
Clearlake has agreed to serve as the “stalking horse bidder” for a Section 363 sale process, which allows other interested parties to come forward with competing bids. Aggregate consideration offered by Clearlake for the purchase totals approximately $60 million, including a new $10 million note for the benefit of the company’s creditors. The company is asking the Court for a schedule to complete the sale process in about 30 days.
Consumers and retailers should see no changes while the company completes a sale. The new financing will support business operations throughout the period. THQ does not intend to reduce its workforce as a result of the filing, and employees will continue to work their usual schedules and receive normal compensation and benefits, pending customary Court approval.
As is the case after a Chapter 11 filing, THQ expects to receive notice from NASDAQ informing the company that its shares will be delisted from the exchange within nine calendar days of notification.
THQ is being advised by Centerview Partners LLC and FTI Consulting as its financial advisors and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as legal counsel. Clearlake is being advised by DLA Piper as legal counsel.
For additional information about THQ, please visit www.thq.com. For information regarding the Chapter 11 case, please visit www.kccllc.net/thq.
Steve Austin Lists His Dream Opponents & Lots More
Steve Austin recently spoke with WWE.com to promote WWE ’13 and discussed his dream opponents and more. Check out the highlights:
On what made him the perfect guy for The Attitude Era: ”That’s a damn good question; I don’t know if I’ve got the answer for it. I guess I was just an entertaining guy. It’s hard for me to answer that question, because it’s cool to be that guy. But I’m not gonna sit here and blow smoke up my a**. I guess I just turned it up to be loud and aggressive, and I meant what I said and I did what I said. I think the character of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, he was a pretty honest and straight-shooting cat, and he was digging and scratching and clawing to get to the top in the business that he loved and it showed in the work and in the persona I created. That’s the best that I can figure. I was the guy who did it.”
On whether he had a lot of fun in his feud with Vince McMahon: ”Oh yeah, man, that was a great time. I had a good time every time I went to work, and that was back in the day when we were on the road [even more than Superstars today]. It was just a blast to go to work every single night, and not just on Monday Night Raw or on a pay-per-view, and it was a blast going to WWE Live Events, because that was all that you did, that’s what you focused on. You’d get out on the road, be gone for three weeks and be dying to get home, but as soon as you got home, you’re bored and itching to get back on the road. So it was just a great time in the business. The window that I happened to slide in at — I’m very appreciative that I came along when I did.”
In if there was anyone from that era he would have liked to work with but didn’t: ”It’s always fun to think about what it would have been like if me and Goldberg had gotten into the ring, to see what would have happened if me and Hollywood Hogan got involved in serious matches, and not in a one-off match. It would have been fun to have worked with a guy like Ultimate Warrior, it would have been fun to do a bunch of matches with Randy Savage, or [Ric] Flair — I would have liked to work a high-profile series with him. Hell, just because Bruno Sammartino just threw me under the bus a couple of months ago, it would’ve been to fun to work with him. You talk about the entertainment aspect, that’s what wrestling’s all about.”
On Sammartino’s comments about the vulgarity he used during the Attitude Era: ”Oh it was just a thing, you know, when someone brought my name up in an interview, he just kinda — I guess the obscenities that came out of my mouth were a little too much for him, and he just turned it off. And again, it was a totally different interview, but it would have been interesting to work with a cat like that, Bruno Sammartino. I guarantee ya — he would have been chasing his tongue around because he would’ve been tired working with me. I’d give him everything I had and a little bit more. Like I said, I’ve got a lot of respect for Bruno Sammartino, and I say [the above] in a competitive manner.”
On whether there was a moment that he thought went too far in the Attitude Era: ”No, no. I said, “a**,” “hell yeah” — stuff like that. And “a**” is about every other word that came out of my mouth back then, as it is in my current life. I happen to love that word. There is nothing I ever said that pushed the envelope too far from a language parameter. You look at the time when Bret Hart flipped out and said, this is garbage. Everybody back in that dressing room knows that promo when he pushed Vince on his a** was further than anywhere I ever went within a language — I never went there. Man, I thought that my stuff was straight-up, grade-A, saying words you could get away with saying. Don’t get me wrong, I could say those words and someone else could say them, and they’re going to mean two different things. I had a lot of intensity; a lot of my delivery was such that you sure took what I said seriously. And I could make you laugh if I wanted to, as well. I could start rambling about promos and how I talk, but it is what it is, it was what it was. Let me streamline my answer — I never said anything that I thought was pushing the envelope too far.”
On if there was anything he wasn’t allowed to do: ”No. No, man, you know, when I started flipping people off, Vince asked me to kind of rein that in a little bit and I said no, and that’s when we really started cashing in. We did exactly what we wanted to do, and I thought it was all in good taste.”
Jake Roberts’ Latest Video
Diamond Dallas Page has released a new YouTube blog from Jake “the Snake” Roberts. In the video, Roberts discusses becoming booker for Georgia Championship Wrestling in the 80s…
Impact TV schedule released
After Universal Studios’s website was down for maintenance this week, Studios came back with the following announcement on TNA’s TV taping schedule in February 2013:
“There are no Impact Wrestling events at Universal Studios for the month of February 2013 due to the stars of Impact Wrestling entertaining fans in the United Kingdom. Impact Wrestling is on the road during the month of February.”
Universal is not saying that TNA will be in the U.K. in February to tape television. Rather, TNA is scheduled to tape four episodes during the January U.K. Tour, with all four of those episodes expected to air in February.
The following is a break down of what the January and February schedule looks like, assuming the February PPV is scratched, which means an eight-week bridge from Genesis to Lockdown:
- Jan. 3: live Impact TV in Orlando
- Jan. 10: live Impact TV in Orlando
- Jan. 13: TNA Genesis PPV in Orlando
- Jan. 17: live Impact TV in Orlando
- Jan. 18: Impact TV taping for 1/24 episode & likely 1/31 episode (the listed start time is 6:00 p.m., which would allow for two shows to be filmed).
- Jan. 25: Impact TV taping in Manchester, U.K. for two Impact episodes (presumably 2/7 & 2/14)
- Jan. 26: Impact TV taping in London, U.K. for two Impact episodes (presumably 2/21 & 2/28)
After presumably taping the entire month of February in the U.K., TNA would then return to the U.S. for the final Impact episode leading into the Lockdown PPV.
- Mar. 7 (tentative): live Impact TV
- Mar. 10: Lockdown PPV in San Antonio, Tex.