Konami Joins Bidding for 4Kids' Yu-Gi-Oh Assets
posted on by Ko Ransom
North American anime distributor 4Kids announced on Thursday that 4K Acquisition Corp., an indirect subsidiary of Japan's Konami Corporation, had made competing bids in the bankruptcy auction for "substantially all of [4Kids'] assets," including the assets related to the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.
Konami made an initial competing bid toward the end of last week, after Kidsco Media Ventures LLC — the initial "stalking-horse" bidder and affiliate of Saban Capital — had already entered a bid. The formal auction between Konami's 4K Acquisition Corp. and Saban's Kidsco Media Ventures LLC began on Tuesday. After a number of follow-up bids, the auction was adjourned in order to allow the two parties to consider an agreement that would split 4Kids' assets between them.
Konami is the Japanese licensor and distributor of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game. A major part of the 4Kids auction is what is referred to in the filing as the "Yu-Gi-Oh! Business," which is defined as "business relating to and commercial Use of Yu-Gi-Oh!, including the rights granted under the Yu-Gi-Oh! Grant Agreements, all other Purchased Assets relating to Yu-Gi-Oh!, The CW Block and [4Kids'] right to Use and profit from the foregoing and the Yu-Gi-Oh! Related Intellectual Property, the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Productions."
4Kids filed for bankruptcy last year shortly after TV Tokyo, Nihon Ad Systems, and ADK filed a lawsuit over Yu-Gi-Oh! licensing. The suit reached an "amicable" settlement earlier this year, with ADK and TV Tokyo paying US$8 million to 4Kids.
Thanks to Ravegirl for the tip.