THQ’s planned quick sale to Clearlake Capital Group ran into a roadblock Friday following a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge agreeing with the objections of a trustee and lenders that the potential buyers were not given enough time. Apparently, there is strong interest in the assets of the troubled publisher behind the likes of Saints Row, Darksiders and Company of Heroes. Warner Bros. and approximately nine other buyers have stepped forward since THQ declared bankruptcy.
Judge Mary F. Walrath sided with creditors in blocking the quick sale by stating, “I have problems concluding that the pre-petition sale process was fulsome.” She noted that THQ “did not even put out to the public that it was for sale” until potential buyers signed non-disclosure agreements.
THQ was attempting to sell the company by Jan. 15 to an undisclosed investor affiliated with the Clearlake Capital Group for $60 million due to the fact that a temporary loan will come due then and the claim that the publisher will be out of operating money.
“I am not convinced that we are under the gun to have a sale process by the 15th,” Walrath told lawyers before sending both the publisher and creditor lawyers out to negotiate with each other over the weekend. A new hearing is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 7.
One of the potential buyers includes Warner Bros. who previously swooped in during the Midway bankruptcy to grab the Mortal Kombat franchise.
THQ president Jason Rubin previously called the quick sale to Clearlake a chance for a new start for THQ while still being able to keep most, if not all, of the publisher’s assets together and still operating. The denial of the quick sale opens up a definite possibility that other publishers including Warner Bros. and Ubisoft will be able to come and cherry pick franchises. This would essentially result in THQ no longer existing.