The hope is that the move will allow the company to free itself from its French parent company.
The latest spot of unpleasantness to hit the long-troubled Atari may actually have an upside, as company executives hope that a buyer can be found to take the company private, largely or entirely free of debt. Parent company Atari SA actually turned a small profit over the past two fiscal years but the complexities of the Atari situation – the U.S.-based Atari Inc. is owned by French company Atari SA, previously known as Infogrames, which is heavily indebted to BlueBay Asset Management of London – has hamstrung its growth potential. Shares in Atari SA have slid from over €11 ($14.65) in 2008 to €0.86 today, while a $28 million debt to BlueBay lapsed at the end of 2012, leaving it unable to release new games.
The Chapter 11 filing is still very new but there have been no expressions of interest in the company at this point, and it’s possible that it could end up being sold off in pieces. The LA Times speculated that currently Atari CEO Jim Wilson will likely seek backers who will keep the company intact and him at the helm. If the bankruptcy process is successful, the remaining French-based business would likely seek a buyer itself or be dissolved.
Infogrames took control of the Atari brand when it acquired Hasbro in 2000. It bought all outstanding shares in Atari Inc. in 2008, and then changed its own name to Atari SA in 2009.
Source: LA Times