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Article #576 (635 is last): From: Michael Current
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news Subject: Hasbro to Buy Atari from JTS Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG) Date: Thu Mar 26 10:31:12 1998 from Next Generation Online, http://www.next-generation.com/ the SEC filing itself is at: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/941167/0001047469-98-009085.txt Hasbro to Buy Atari from JTS According to SEC documents and inside sources, JTS will be selling all of its Atari holdings to a subsidiary of Hasbro. March 11, 1998 JTS Corp merged with Atari back in July of 1996, but since that time it has done little with the heritage that it held when it acquired all of Atari's games, patents and technology. It would now seem that Hasbro has had its eye on Atari and will be buying the former assets of Atari at a price of $5 million. According to the Form 8K JTS filed with the SEC yesterday: "On February 23, 1998, JTS Corporation (the "Company") sold substantially all of the assets of the Company's Atari Division, consisting primarily of Atari home computer games and the intellectual property rights and license agreements associated with such games (the "Atari Assets"), to HIACXI, Corp. ("HIAC"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive, Inc., for $5,000,000 in cash. The purchase price was determined based upon arm's-length negotiations between the Company and HIAC. The Atari Assets were acquired by the Company in July 1996 when the Company merged with Atari Corporation. There is no material relationship between HIAC and the Company, any of its affiliates, any director or officer of the Company, or any associate of any such director or officer." The report goes on to detail the exact platforms that Hasbro will gain from the purchase: "Atari Hardware Platforms" means the following hardware platforms: Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx hand-held and Jaguar game system hardware, Atari 800, ST and Falcon 030 computer family hardware, TOS operating system, 8-bit operating system, and Portfolio palmtop computer." On the title side of the arrangement, Hasbro will be getting the following pieces of intellectual property and then some: "Key Marks" means each of the following marks: Atari, the Fuji logo, Asteroids, Battlezone, Breakout, Centipede, Combat, Crystal Castles, Millipede, Missile Command, Night Driver, Pong, Ultra Pong, Tempest, Warlords and Yar's Revenge." Hasbro has experienced excellent sales success with its previous retro title efforts and with the Atari brand and properties to use, it's likely that Hasbro will continue to ride the retro wave of financial goodness. A spokesperson for JTS offered little insight into the sale, merely stating that he could "neither confirm nor deny the sale." He went on to say that if there had been such a major deal completed there would have been a press release issued. Strangely though, as Atari passes into the hands of Hasbro, it ends the company's jaunt with JTS raising some probing questions. The SEC approved Atari's "merger" with JTS on the premise that JTS would make a good faith effort to keep the Atari side of business alive. They "absorbed" $50,000,000 plus from Atari's coffers based on that premise. In a little more than a year, JTS sells what's left of Atari for $5,000,000. What happened to all that money? What investments went into satisfying the SEC commitments and understandings? Was this fair to ATC investors? Jaguar titles that were released after the merger had long since been completed (Fight for Life, Iron Soldier 2, etc.) which means that there had been no new development of titles. Sources close to JTS have indicated that at that point only one major project was in R&D at that time (a PC graphics converter which is obviously far outside the scope of any project Atari would have worked on). Numerous Jaguar developers have indicated that after the merger (and even before the merger was complete), all new contracts with Atari/JTS were discouraged and milestone rewards for existing contracts were not infrequently 're-negotiated'. Based upon these accounts, the attempt to keep the Atari side of the business running didn't quite seem like a 'good faith effort'. Next Generation Online is still awaiting comment from Hasbro and the SEC on the matter.