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Atari files for bankruptcy in France, too

January 21, 2013|By Ben Fritz
  • Atari has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and France.
Atari has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and France. (Andreas Rentz / Getty Images )

Atari is now bankrupt in two countries.

A day after its American unit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Paris-based Atari S.A. on Monday took a similar measure under Book 6 of that country's commercial code.

U.S.-based Atari Inc. contains most of the French parent company's operations and is actively seeking a buyer while under Chapter 11 in order to continue operating as a private entity.

Atari S.A. did not make any indication about its future plans, though with few assets outside of its American subsidiary, it will quite possibly sell off parts of the company and dissolve.

In a statement, Atari S.A. said it was filing for legal protection because its longtime backer BlueBay has sought to sell its 29% stake and demanded repayment by March 31 on a credit line of $28 million that it cut off in December. "No investor has been willing to replace them as reference shareholder and principal creditor," Atari S.A. said in a statement.

As a result, the statement added, "The company has been starved for funds and unable to finance its continued growth."

Jim Wilson, chief executive of both Atari Inc. and Atari S.A., said in a statement that bankruptcy protection is the best hope for the struggling game company, still known worldwide for such brands as "Pong" and "Missile Command," to revive itself with a focus on digital platforms.

"In light of the current situation with BlueBay, we have decided to take what we think is the best decision to protect the company and its shareholders," he said in a statement. "Through these ongoing procedures, and especially the auction process in the U.S., we will seek to maximize the proceeds in the best interest of the company and all of its shareholders."

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