NEW YORK, Nov. 13: Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR), an interactive entertainment company, today announced the company will re-focus its operations on publishing and distribution in North America, completing its withdrawal from the production business. Atari also announced that it has licensed its Test Drive franchise to Infogrames Entertainment, S.A. ("IESA") under an agreement which includes a $5 million advance royalty.
Atari has determined to focus its resources on the publishing and distribution segments of the rapidly growing video game business. The Company's operations will involve title acquisition, sales and marketing, and physical distribution of products from IESA, its 51% shareholder, and other selected partners.
In line with that goal, Atari has agreed in principle with IESA to terminate its Production Services Agreement in the near future. As a result, Atari will no longer provide production and quality assurances services to IESA. Rather, Atari plansto transfer certain employees and contract other staff on a project basis for a limited period of time.
As part of the company restructuring, Atari, Inc. will reduce its current workforce in order to re-align the Company's cost structure with its on-going business base.
Test Drive Licensing Agreement
Test Drive Unlimited, an award-winning product in 2006, together with the entire Test Drive franchise has been licensed to IESA under a 6-year agreement that provides for a $5 million advance royalty. Test Drive Unlimited, an award-winning product in 2006, together with the entire Test Drive franchise has been licensed to IESA under a 6-year agreement that provides for a $5 million advance royalty. The agreement allows IESA, whose Eden Studios originally developed Test Drive Unlimited for Atari, to develop and market at least two new releases of the franchise during the life of the license. It is anticipated that the deal, signed on Nov. 8, 2007, will assure the continued vitality of the franchise and will strengthen the relationship between Atari and its parent company while providing an important element in the on-going financial restructuring of Atari.
Curtis G. Solsvig III, Atari's Chief Restructuring Officer, commented "Atari continues to take important steps to stream-line operations and establish a winning business plan. We expect that the actions we are undertaking today will position us for the future as a preferred business and distribution partner."
As previously announced, Atari recently signed a deal with BlueBay High Yield Investments (Luxembourg) S.A.R.L ("BlueBay") for financial support in the form of a $10 million credit facility as part of its overall financial restructuring. Blue Bay owns in excess of 20% of IESA's stock.
New York-based Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) develops interactive games for all platforms and is a third-party publisher of interactive entertainment software in the U.S. The Company's 1,000+ titles include hard-core, genre- defining franchises such as Test Drive ® ; and mass-market and children's franchises such Dragon Ball Z ® . Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext - ISIN: FR-0000052573), an interactive games publisher in Europe. For more information, visit http://www.atari.com.
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With the exception of the historical information contained in this release, the matters described herein contain certain "forward-looking statements" that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this release are not promises or guarantees and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and are naturally subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. We caution you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein. Some of the factors which could cause our results to differ are set forth in our SEC filings.
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