UPDATE: 1/31/13, 2:25 p.m. EST. Information on Allen & Overy's representation of Atari's French parent company has been added to the 11th paragraph of this story.
Atari Interactive, the seemingly ancient maker of classic video games made famous by Generation X like Asteroids, Pac-Man, Piftall!, and Space Invaders, filed for bankruptcy in New York on Monday as part of an effort to separate from its struggling French parent company.
Entering administrationthe U.K. equivalent of bankruptcythis month were troubled retailers HMV Group and Blockbuster Entertainment, the London-based unit of U.S. video store chain Blockbuster. Another British electronics retailer, Comet Group, finally closed its doors this month after slipping into administration last November.
Bingham McCutchen, Mayer Brown, and SNR Denton were among a foursome of firms reaping more than $150,000 in fees from the collapse of Comet, according to U.K. publication The Lawyer. SNR Denton, which is in the process of changing its name to Dentons after completing a three-way merger with Canadian shop Fraser Milner Casgrain and pan-European firm Salans, has also landed the role advising global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is managing the bankruptcy of leading British camera retailer Jessops, according to U.K. publication Legal Week.
As for Salans, The Lawyer notes that the firm is advising private equity shop Hilco Consumer Capital, which has reportedly bought up the debt of HMV, whose administration has made headlines across the pond. MoFo is advising a group of creditors for the Maidenhead, Englandbased music and DVD retailer, while Magic Circle firm Linklaters is representing administrators from Deloitte as well as lenders, according to The Lawyer.
The Am Law Daily reported two years ago on Linklaters's role advising satellite broadcaster Dish Network which Bloomberg Businessweek has dubbed the meanest company in Americaon its $320 million purchase of Blockbuster, which took it out of bankruptcy in the United States. This week, Dish-owned Blockbuster announced that it would close 300 stores and cut 3,000 jobs in the U.S., a week after its U.K. arm entered administration.
Linklaters is advising Blockbuster's U.S. parent on the bankruptcy proceedings of Blockbuster Entertainment in Britain, while CMS Cameron McKenna has been retained to advise the company itself and administrators from global accounting firm Deloitte, according to Legal Week.
Back in France, where Atari's parent began bankruptcy proceedings of its own this week, music retailer Virgin France filed for insolvency last week in a Parisian commercial court. Olivier Puech, a restructuring partner at Bredin Prat who recently joined the French firm from local rival Gide Loyrette Nouel, has been retained to advise Virgin France, according to The Lawyer. (Paris-based private equity firm Butler Capital Partners owns Virgin France.)
Below are some of the latest noteworthy business bankruptcy filings in the U.S. and their lawyers of note.
Atari's North American unit has filed for bankruptcy in Manhattan and Paris in order to extricate itself from French parent Atari S.A. Atari Interactive, which recently lost a line of credit with primary lender and sole shareholder BlueBay Asset Management, lists assets of up to $10 million against debts ranging from $10 million to $50 million.