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    THQ Inc. (Toy Headquarters) was a global American developer and publisher of video games.

    THQ Simultaneously Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Secures Buyer for Company's Assets [UPDATED]

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    alex

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    Edited By alex
    For a brief bit of levity, here is the first image that popped up when I Google image searched
    For a brief bit of levity, here is the first image that popped up when I Google image searched "stalking horse."

    UPDATE: THQ's Jason Rubin has posted a lengthy note explaining the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, while simultaneously attempting to assuage any fears fans might have about the fate of the publisher's upcoming lineup. He specifically makes a point of comparison to MGM. MGM famously ran into financial issues a couple of years back, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy turned out to be the production studio's savior, allowing it to fund two of this year's biggest films in the James Bond sequel Skyfall, and Peter Jackson's first Hobbit film. Of course, it also allowed MGM to release that abhorrent Red Dawn remake, AKA the movie most directly comparable to a franchise in THQ's lineup, but I suppose that wasn't really Rubin's point.

    You can read his entire post here.

    --------

    THQ is bankrupt, and has a new owner. Yes, all at the same time.

    Clearlake Capital Group LLP has acquired the financially beleaguered publisher as a "stalking horse bidder," offering up a total consideration of $60 million for the company, including a new $10 million note for its creditors.

    The bankruptcy petition by THQ is simply a byproduct of this larger deal, allowing the company to shed some of its debt obligations in the wake of the sale.

    According to a press release put out by THQ today announcing the deal, the company made it clear that it has every intention of continuing development on its upcoming suite of games, including the likes of Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth.

    "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."

    In case you're anything like I was prior to writing this story and don't really understand what a "stalking horse bidder" even is, it turns out it's simply a method of auctioning assets that ensures THQ wouldn't be low-balled by potential bidders. By filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, THQ was able to use the stalking horse method to select Clearlake as an opening bidder for the publisher. Any other company could have entered the fray and bid up over Clearlake, but it sounds like nobody did. In effect, THQ chose its eventual owner, while leaving the door open for other bidders who never appeared.

    Kind of an interesting story to just float out there right at the end of the year, when all the media is beginning to disappear for vacation, ain't it?

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    alex

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    #1  Edited By alex
    For a brief bit of levity, here is the first image that popped up when I Google image searched
    For a brief bit of levity, here is the first image that popped up when I Google image searched "stalking horse."

    UPDATE: THQ's Jason Rubin has posted a lengthy note explaining the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, while simultaneously attempting to assuage any fears fans might have about the fate of the publisher's upcoming lineup. He specifically makes a point of comparison to MGM. MGM famously ran into financial issues a couple of years back, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy turned out to be the production studio's savior, allowing it to fund two of this year's biggest films in the James Bond sequel Skyfall, and Peter Jackson's first Hobbit film. Of course, it also allowed MGM to release that abhorrent Red Dawn remake, AKA the movie most directly comparable to a franchise in THQ's lineup, but I suppose that wasn't really Rubin's point.

    You can read his entire post here.

    --------

    THQ is bankrupt, and has a new owner. Yes, all at the same time.

    Clearlake Capital Group LLP has acquired the financially beleaguered publisher as a "stalking horse bidder," offering up a total consideration of $60 million for the company, including a new $10 million note for its creditors.

    The bankruptcy petition by THQ is simply a byproduct of this larger deal, allowing the company to shed some of its debt obligations in the wake of the sale.

    According to a press release put out by THQ today announcing the deal, the company made it clear that it has every intention of continuing development on its upcoming suite of games, including the likes of Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth.

    "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."

    In case you're anything like I was prior to writing this story and don't really understand what a "stalking horse bidder" even is, it turns out it's simply a method of auctioning assets that ensures THQ wouldn't be low-balled by potential bidders. By filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, THQ was able to use the stalking horse method to select Clearlake as an opening bidder for the publisher. Any other company could have entered the fray and bid up over Clearlake, but it sounds like nobody did. In effect, THQ chose its eventual owner, while leaving the door open for other bidders who never appeared.

    Kind of an interesting story to just float out there right at the end of the year, when all the media is beginning to disappear for vacation, ain't it?

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    ThineOarlock

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    #2  Edited By ThineOarlock

    Dang

    EDIT: Shit, I stole the quest. MY BAD.

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    Sil3n7

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    #3  Edited By Sil3n7

    Kickstarter for Saints row 4

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    TheIronWeasel

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    #4  Edited By TheIronWeasel

    What of Warhammer 40k!? WHAAAAATTTT!?!

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    recroulette

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    #5  Edited By recroulette

    Edit: Damn I should read these things all the way through, 60 million for everything? Are you kidding me!?

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    xMEGADETHxSLY

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    #6  Edited By xMEGADETHxSLY

    Someone buy Saints Row (Microsoft) ?????

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    Duh_ave

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    #7  Edited By Duh_ave

    Never a good story, hope there aren't TOO many layoffs.

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    themangalist

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    #8  Edited By themangalist

    I'm glad it's over with. Just a change in the mysterious boardroom directors, doesn't matter to us gamers really, as long as the THQ name lives on and Saints Row 4 still in development.

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    noremnants

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    #9  Edited By noremnants

    Doesn't seem too bad. They had a buyer and are using Bankruptcy to write off some of their debt. I assume this was their plan all along.

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    RonnieBarzel

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    #10  Edited By RonnieBarzel

    With a new owner, will this mean Jason Rubin will be leaving the company? I'm not an economics major, but it would make sense to me that a new owner would want to install its own people.

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    uberexplodey

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    #11  Edited By uberexplodey

    Live goddamn you, liiiiiive

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    J12088

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    #12  Edited By J12088

    Never heard of clearlake.

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    Mister_V

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    #13  Edited By Mister_V

    I want to dig deeper into horses dammit.

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    Winternet

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    #14  Edited By Winternet

    Well, I can't say I'm surprised. It's a bummer.

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    Grok1122

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    #15  Edited By Grok1122

    Stalking horse bid is when the company going bankrupt chooses an interested buyer to be the 'opening bid' for it's assets in a bankruptcy proceeding.

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    UricTheOddball

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    #16  Edited By UricTheOddball

    @Sil3n7 said:

    Kickstarter for Saints row 4

    Only if they are bringing back Johnny Gat.

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    Calitar

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    #17  Edited By Calitar

    I feel like this is probably the best possible outcome for THQ. They were well past the point of making a comeback on their own. Here's hoping the future is bright for them.

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    phrosnite

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    #18  Edited By phrosnite

    Relic and 40k <3

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    warley

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    #19  Edited By warley

    Fifth!

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    BoatDrinks

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    #20  Edited By BoatDrinks

    This is good? I guess?

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    Daniel_Newton

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    #21  Edited By Daniel_Newton
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    MjHealy

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    #22  Edited By MjHealy

    I got pretty worried by that headline but this kind of seems like decent news. It should hopefully consolidate THQ's position going to into 2013. Just make to to Saints Row The Fourth is all I can say.

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    KittyVonDoom

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    #23  Edited By KittyVonDoom

    *throws money at Volition*

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    muralbat

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    #24  Edited By muralbat

    As sad as this is, I wonder if this will shake up the WWE franchise a bit, could see a bidding war for that title in the future.

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    Maitimo

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    #25  Edited By Maitimo

    Is it weird that this happened earlier than I expected? I thought they'd make it to South Park first.

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    bacongames

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    #26  Edited By bacongames

    Better than "total debt catastrophe, rabid bid war ensues over THQ properties, get yours today!" I'm really thinking about the dev's being allowed to keep working and it seems like that's the case so good on them.

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    DeadDorf

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    #27  Edited By DeadDorf

    Someone call Studio Protective Services and take Relic away from that publisher!

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    Icecreamjones

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    #28  Edited By Icecreamjones

    People on this site REALLY need reading comprehension. THQ is still open. They just have new owners. Vigil, Volition, Relic are still all open for business and working on their games.

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    alternate

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    #29  Edited By alternate

    Day 1 : Don't worry, everything will stay the same.

    Day 2 : Just a "few" layoffs to improve profitability.

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    TheMasterDS

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    #30  Edited By TheMasterDS

    Last night I dreamt about this. Crazy. In my dream I wondered who was next.

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    nelsonfalker

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    #31  Edited By nelsonfalker

    Hopefully everything works out with this. In the last couple years THQ has gone from being a punchline to a publisher that I actually look forward to seeing what they release.

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    Kidavenger

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    #32  Edited By Kidavenger
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    forkboy

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    #33  Edited By forkboy

    @Kidavenger said:

    The bankruptcy filing says that it doesn't include foreign operations; what happens to THQ Montreal and Relic Entertainment? they are both Canadian.

    Presumably they are still owned by the parent company THQ though. You'd expect them to still be among the assets bought by this stalking horse when they picked up THQ, unless you read something that disagrees.

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    jjnen

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    #34  Edited By jjnen

    Happy fucking christmas!

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    rachelepithet

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    #35  Edited By rachelepithet

    I don't understand what this means. Headlines make it sound like THQ sold the rights to its franchises, like Saints Row, WWE, and South Park, to another publisher. Meaning THQ no longer owns those properties. Meaning they're EA's, or Ubi's, or cancelled. Headlines make it sound like THQ had to do for all its games what it did with the UFC license.

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    Icecreamjones

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    #36  Edited By Icecreamjones

    @boocreepyfootdoctor said:

    I don't understand what this means. Headlines make it sound like THQ sold the rights to its franchises, like Saints Row, WWE, and South Park, to another publisher. Meaning THQ no longer owns those properties. Meaning they're EA's, or Ubi's, or cancelled. Headlines make it sound like THQ had to do for all its games what it did with the UFC license.

    No, a company bought THQ. That's all that happened. THQ is still running. Rubin is still in charge. All the studios are still open and all those games expected to come out are still coming.

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    mnzy

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    #37  Edited By mnzy

    I hope it really is like they say and it's not that bad.

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    SgtSphynx

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    #38  Edited By SgtSphynx  Moderator

    Sad news to hear, but we kinda knew it was coming.

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    ddensel

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    #39  Edited By ddensel
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    cannonballbam

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    #40  Edited By cannonballbam

    The list of american publishers is dwindling.

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    year199X

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    #41  Edited By year199X

    This is a real bummer. I hope things turn around for them.

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    RenegadeSaint

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    #42  Edited By RenegadeSaint

    I had to get a restraining order to solve my stalking horse problem.

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    csl316

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    #43  Edited By csl316

    Just gimme Red Faction: Guerilla 2 somehow.

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    Christoffer

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    #44  Edited By Christoffer

    My mind first went to this when I heard "Stalking Horse":

    No Caption Provided

    Still, I love THQ and I hope they climb out of this soon.

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    leburgan

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    #45  Edited By leburgan

    Live damn you Live!

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    theodacourt

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    #46  Edited By theodacourt

    If this means THQ carry on as usual then I'm all for it. Whoop!

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    Pixeldemon

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    #47  Edited By Pixeldemon

    Does this mean I won't be able to buy the Saint's Row IP for $3 at Brian Farrell's garage sale?

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    crusader8463

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    #48  Edited By crusader8463

    God dam... I really hope Relic ends up in good hands when all this is done. Would hate to see such an amazing developer get lost in all this mess. They are the only company making RTS games of any quality these days, and every time they have gone outside the genre I have loved the games too.

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    wyld

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    #49  Edited By wyld

    I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!

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    triumvir

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    #50  Edited By triumvir

    Goddammit. here's hoping Relic and the rest of the studios don't get gutted.

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