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In a press release Midway announced the timeframe for the section 363 sale process. This means that the company is entering into the next step of selling part of its (intellectual) property, including the Mortal Kombat franchise. From the press release:
MIDWAY ANNOUNCES TIMEFRAME FOR SECTION 363 SALE PROCESS
Assets for Sale Include Four Studios, European and North American Publishing Groups,
Iconic Mortal Kombat, TNA Wrestling License, Open World Games, Casual Games, and
Full Classic IP Library
Bid Groupings Can Be Formed with Multiple Interested Parties to Compete with Stalking Horse Bid
CHICAGO – May 28, 2009 – Midway Games Inc. has established the timeline for the expected sale of Midway’s assets to the highest bidders in accordance with the sale and bid procedures motion filed with the Bankruptcy Court pursuant to Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Midway recently announced a "stalking horse" asset purchase agreement, which is expected to receive court approval, subject to higher or better bids, in a hearing on June 2, 2009. Following this hearing, there will be a period during which Midway, through its financial advisor, Lazard, will accept binding offers up to June 24th, 2009, to acquire some or all of the Company's assets. An auction will be held on June 29th to determine the bid or combination of bids that achieves the highest value, followed by a court hearing to approve the sale to the winning bidder or bidders on July 1st, and then a final closing. All bids must comply with the bid procedures order to be issued at the hearing on June 2, 2009.
The "stalking horse" asset purchase agreement includes a significant portion of Midway's assets, however not all of the assets were included in the agreement. The bidding process allows for interested parties to bid on sets of assets including those not in the agreement, and multiple bidders can be formed into a group whose bids in the aggregate constitute a greater value than the initial stalking horse bid. Successful bidders will be buying only Midway's assets, and will not assume nor be responsible for any of the company's debt or liabilities, including any secured or unsecured notes, credit facilities, or trade obligations.
Midway's considerable intellectual property assets span some of the most successful sectors in the video game industry. Midway is well known for fighting games, with its more than $1.5 billion franchise, Mortal Kombat, as well as the video game license for the fastest-growing wrestling league, Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling. Midway's development teams are known worldwide for their expertise in fighting game mechanics, motion-capture integration, and AAA production values.
Midway also has strong capabilities in open-world games, including the highly-detailed action-adventure game currently in development, This is Vegas, and the recently released open-world driving game, Wheelman. The development barriers to entry in this genre are considerable, and Midway has an engine in place and expertise to create high-quality, expansive open-world games.
Midway has a long legacy of arcade-style casual and classic intellectual property, with 50 years of popular arcade classics such as Spy Hunter, Rampage, Joust, Paperboy, Gauntlet, and many more. This, coupled with Midway's recent blockbuster success with the three-million-plus unit selling franchise Game Party and the 1.5 million unit selling TouchMaster franchise, comprises a full line of casual and family games. There are a number of games currently in production for a wide variety of platforms including Nintendo DS/DSi and Wii, Xbox 360 Live Arcade, Apple iPhone, Sony PSP and PS3, and online.
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