Videogame maker THQ gets court approval for longer auction process

Tue Jan 8, 2013 10:59am EST

Jan 8 (Reuters) - Videogame maker THQ Inc said it received court approval for a longer bankruptcy auction process that will allow other parties to bid for its assets, after it reached an agreement with the committee representing its unsecured creditors.

The court approved private investment firm Clearlake Capital Group as the "stalking horse" or lead bidder for the entire company but said the auction will also allow other interested parties to bid for parts of the company.

The new auction calls for bids by Jan. 22 with the auction to be held later in the day.

THQ, known for its wrestling and "Saints Row" games, had filed for bankruptcy protection in December and had agreed to sell all its assets to Clearlake Capital.

The videogame maker had asked the court for an unusually quick auction, which the company wanted to hold just five days after the start of the hearing.

That move was criticized by the company's unsecured creditors who said it gave an unfair advantage to Clearlake and was designed to specifically thwart other potential bidders.

The committee also said the sale to Clearlake was meaningless and would guarantee the THQ's management retain their positions within the new organization.

Delaware judges and creditors have scrutinized other recent requests for rushed sales. In November battery maker A123 Systems Inc agreed to postpone its proposed auction by about three weeks to give bidders more time to prepare.

The case is In Re: THQ Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware. No:12-13398.

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