Share This Page

Atari US files for Chapter 11 to separate from parent

| Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Video game maker Atari's U.S. operations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to separate from their French parent company.

Atari said the move is necessary to secure investments it needs to grow in mobile and digital gaming.

Atari's U.S. operations have shifted to focus on digital games and licensing, including developing mobile games, and have become a growth engine for its owner.

France's Infogrames Entertainment first took a stake in Atari in 2000, acquired the remaining stake in 2008 and changed its name to Atari S.A.

Atari, which turned 40 last year, was a videogame pioneer with games like “Pong” and “Centipede” but has changed owners several times amid financial problems.

In its filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, Atari said it had $1 million to $10 million in assets and $10 million to $50 million in debt.

But the U.S. operations have been better performing than the rest of the company. In fiscal 2012 digital and licensing revenue both grew significantly and contributed 70 percent of revenue, while sales in bricks-and-mortar stores declined.

In December, Atari S.A. said a credit agreement it entered into with investor BlueBay would lapse at the end of the year and the company was seeking other ways to raise capital. It added that it expects to report a “significant loss” for fiscal 2012.

It is seeking approval for $5.25 million in debtor-in-possession financing from private investment firm Tenor Capital Management.

Atari said it expects to sell its assets or confirm a restructuring plan within the next three to six months.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.