Infogrames to unveil U.S Atari unit revamp soon

PARIS, Sept 27 Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:25pm EDT

PARIS, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Europe's largest video game group Infogrames IFOE.PA on Thursday said it would soon unveil a plan to restore profitability at its 51 percent owned U.S. affiliate Atari Inc ATAR.O, which it has blamed for operating losses at the group level.

"As I said in June, we are negotiating with the management and the board of Atari Inc to restore (financial) equilibriums," Chief Executive Patrick Leleu told a shareholders' annual meeting.

"We are looking after the interests of Infogrames and its shareholders. We are trying to negotiate action plans; talks are continuing ... I should be able to announce some things rapidly."

He would not say whether Infogrames planned to sell the U.S. unit.

Leleu took over in April, succeeding Infogrames founder Bruno Bonnell, who left the company after 24 years following a restructuring aimed at wiping out its heavy debts and funding development in the money-hungry video games industry.

Atari on Tuesday reported delayed fiscal 2007 results, including a wider net loss for the year on lower net revenue and a noncash goodwill impairment charge of $54.1 million.

Loss from continuing operations at the unit was $66.6 million.

Last month, Infogrames posted a 13 percent rise in first-quarter 2007/08 revenue. Leleu would not give a forecast for the second quarter nor for the full year. Infogrames fiscal year starts on April 1 and ends March 31. (Writing by Dominique Vidalon, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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