EA pondered THQ acquisition, is now being sued over UFC deal

Ben Parfitt
EA pondered THQ acquisition, is now being sued over UFC deal

Ill-fated publisher THQ was once the target for a possible acquisition at the hands of EA, court documents have revealed.

As spotted by Videogamer, the papers (as found by Polygon) relating to THQ’s now attempted suing of EA over its UFC rights purchase say that THQ first started exploring the possibility of a buyout in 2011.

“EA was a logical party to approach, given its indications of interest in the UFC Franchise,” it reads. "In early December 2011, EA and THQ discussed a potential sale of THQ as a whole to EA.

“THQ provided EA internal financial information, including detailed sales and revenue figures for the UFC Franchise, and projected marketing expenditures on the next UFC Franchise game. After a December 12th 2011 high-level meeting, several discussions, and a review of management projections, EA broke off negotiations, professing disinterest.

"EA, for its part, wanted to acquire only the choicest portions of THQ rather than commit to the company as a whole as a strategic acquirer.”

This has all emerged after THQ launched a lawsuit attempting to sue EA for “at least” $10m, claiming that the publisher supplied UFC rights owner Zuffa with “internal financial information” that lead to the threat of a lawsuit being levelled at THQ.

"Only two weeks after the negotiations with EA broke down, Zuffa, through outside counsel, sent THQ a letter," it adds. "Zuffa had given no prior indication of any dissatisfaction with THQ's operation of the UFC Franchise.

“The letter criticised THQ's marketing expenditures on the UFC franchise, and threatened to terminate the UFC license based on THQ's insolvency. On information and belief, EA communicated THQ's internal financial information and projections to Zuffa.

"On information and belief, prior to the Demand Letter, EA contacted Zuffa, informed Zuffa of THQ's perilous financial condition, and expressed interest in acquiring the UFC Franchise directly from Zuffa, causing Zuffa to threaten termination of the UFC License.

"THQ negotiated a termination of the UFC License with Zuffa and EA. THQ was hamstrung in these negotiations by EA's intimate knowledge of THQ's finances, which derived from EA's confidential data room access during the search for a strategic acquirer.” 

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Tags: THQ , lawsuit , ea , ufc , acquisition , sue , suing , rights

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