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Gizmondo Europe Officially Liquidates, U.S. Options Mulled

Gizmondo Europe Officially Liquidates, U.S. Options Mulled

February 7, 2006 | By Simon Carless

February 7, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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More: Console/PC

Following the recent news that Tiger Telematics subsidiary and handheld game hardware company Gizmondo Europe has filed for bankruptcy in the United Kingdom, a UK court hearing has officially put the European division of the firm into liquidation.

Gizmondo parent Tiger Telematics has announced that it is assuming that Gizmondo Europe's liquidators, David Rubin and Partners and Begbies Traynor will terminate the remaining employees of Gizmondo Europe, cease Gizmondo Europe's operations, including the Gizmondo help desk, email and other product support services, and attempt to sell the assets thereof, bringing to the end the controversial European history of the handheld hardware firm.

However, Tiger Telematics is discussing with its lender and the liquidators regarding the possibility of completing the acquisition of certain assets of Gizmondo Europe, which would need to be completed in the next few days, but it notes that, despite a recent $5 million bridging loan, "no assurances can be given that the lender will provide the funds necessary to complete the transaction."

As a result of the court order and the previously announced liquidations of the Company's Sweden and Manchester game studios, Tiger Telematics has announced that it will be able to eliminate over 80% of the total liabilities reported on its September 30, 2005 consolidated balance sheet, or approximately $72 million.

Finally, Tiger Telematics has indicated that it is considering "available options" with its Texas games studio subsidiary and its kiosk sales units in the USA subsidiary in light of the High Court action in the UK. However, significant rights to the firm's hardware and games are presumably tied up in the European liquidation, meaning that it may be difficult or impossible for Gizmondo to continue trading.

The SEC filing revealing the liquidation of Gizmondo mentions of existing operations: "Strategic options for the Company include the possible sale of the Company or all or a portion of its assets, the sale of Gizmondo intellectual property rights, including patents and game rights which are owned by the Company, and continuing operations in the USA, which would require substantial debt and or equity financing."

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