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THQ assets to be sold off at auction January 22

THQ's attempt to keep its operations in one piece through a sale to Clearlake Capital has failed, with a number of interested parties expected to bid on its individual assets this month.

Reporting live from a hearing into THQ's proposed sale, reconvening from a weekend session, Distressed Debt Investing said that Clearlake attempted to address the judge and objector's issues with the proposed sale.

The capital group, which is providing credit to THQ during its bankruptcy, agreed to lower an unusually high disappointment payment, allow potential buyers to bid on individual titles and to extend the time permitted for bids until January 15.

Clearlake and THQ's creditors hadn't been able to reach an agreement, and as such, the presiding judge ruled that the January 15 extension was not long enough.

After some arguing, all parties agreed to a January 22 auction of THQ's major assets on a title by title basis.

At least five potential buyers were known to sniffing around THQ's assets over the weekend, including Warner Bros.; the hearing revealed that EA has also made an appearance. Ubisoft is also said to be interested, with CEO Yves Guillemot openly coveting THQ's goodies.

The hearing was scheduled last week following complaints from THQ's creditors and the US Trustee overseeing its bankruptcy that a proposed sale to Clearlake was designed to keep the publisher's operations in one piece rather than address debts.

THQ filed for bankruptcy in December, revealing at the time that it was in negotiations with a stalking horse purchaser. The publisher's assets include the near-complete South Park: The Order of the Stick, Company of Heroes 2, and Metro: Last Light, all of which were expected to launch within the first half of the year.

It also has a number of unrevealed titles in the works, including a Vigil Games title codenamed Crawler; Turtle Rock's Evolve; a project called Atlas at Relic Entertainment, and something known as 1666 at the Patrice Désilets-led THQ Montreal studio.

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