Gen Con na corda bamba

A Gen Con, uma das maiores convenções de jogos e certamente a mais importante para os RPGs, se encontra em uma situação financeira complicada, tendo declarado sua falência em Fevereiro deste ano. Curiosamente, a falência teve como um de seus principais motores a Lucasfilm, que processou a Gen Con em aproximadamente 1 milhão de dólares devido a falhas no cumprimento de suas obrigações legais durante a realização da Star Wars Celebration IV em 2007.

Ok, isto ai não é novidade e o ICv2 possui muito mais informações e detalhes. A mudança nos últimos dias foi a misteriosa proposta de compra da Gen Con, que foi feita um dia antes do prazo estabelecido pela Corte de Falências do estado de Washington para que eles divulgassem os planos e metas de reestruturação da empresa. O mistério da parada é que ninguém sabe exatamente quem está por trás da oferta de compra, que foi apresentada por um certo “Gen Con Acquisition Group” disposto a pagar $900 mil dólares nos primeiros 30 dias após fechado o negócio, e $400 mil dólares a cada seis meses até que todas as dívidas da empresa fossem sanadas. Em troca o Gen Con Acquisition Group teria todos os contratos, direitos, licenças, franquias e propriedades intelectuais que atualmente pertencem a Gen Con, ou seja, os atuais proprietários ficariam com pouco mais que uma casca contendo apenas o nome da Gen Con LLC – já que o acordo é para comprar as propriedades da empresa, e deixar seus donos atuais com basicamente nada além do seu nome.

Esta proposta rolou na foi na semana passada. Ontem Adrian Swartout, Presidente da Gen Con LLC divulgou uma carta recusando a proposta do tal Gen Con Acquisition Group:

Many of you have heard speculation about a pending Gen Con sale and I’d like to take this opportunity to address the situation.

On the eve of our deadline to file our final reorganization plan and disclosure statement, Gen Con counsel received an unsolicited “Letter of Intent” from Gen Con Acquisition Group for purchase of all the assets of Gen Con. We believe this offer was clearly timed to disrupt our ability to get a plan confirmed and is an attempt at a hostile takeover with the intention of ousting Peter Adkison as the owner.

The offer was suspiciously cryptic, with no letter of introduction, good will, or summary of intentions for forward management and opportunities for current staff. Given the date of submission, the lack of prior outreach from this group, and the overt omission of intentions regarding management of business operations, it was difficult to take this offer seriously. It’s from an anonymous group that clearly does not understand the value Peter brings to Gen Con.  Any acquisition offer that relies on future profits of the business to service the outstanding debt that does not have a provision for Peter’s continued involvement is not a sound offer.

Challenges with considering the offer aside, I have a responsibility to our creditors to consider any alternatives to reorganization. As such I have diligently reviewed the offer in conjunction with our creditor committee and we have determined it is a high risk proposition with far too many negative implications and is not in the best interest of our creditors. It is our intent to disregard this offer and continue toward confirmation of a plan substantially similar to the offer filed with the Court.

Our goal this last year has been to stabilize our operations and establish that Gen Con Indy could be operated profitably. As such we had our first profitable year since 2005 and are confident in our ability to fund our reorganization plan. Throughout this process we’ve cooperated and worked closely with our creditor committee – we believe they support our plan. We’re expecting our creditors will vote to accept the plan and are currently scheduled to reemerge from Chapter 11 in early January.

The last few months have been very busy here in the office and the plans for Gen Con Indy 2009 couldn’t be shaping up any better. I have the distinct pleasure of leading a small team of dedicated and passionate individuals who live, breath, eat and sleep Gen Con. In any organization there is always room for improvement, but it is truly a labor of love for all of us here and an incredible honor for me to be the steward for an event that is as unique and special as Gen Con is. It’s more than a business – it’s more than a convention – it’s an experience that touches each of us in a deeply personal manner and brings us together as a community.

We’re excited to bring you the Best Four Days of Gaming! for years to come and we thank you for your support and faith in us.

Adrian Swartout
President
Gen Con, LLC

Resposta excelente ao meu ver, já que a proposta do tal Gen Con Acquisition Group secreto era bem cabulosa e estranha. Será que um dia saberemos quem estava por trás da oferta? E mais importante – a Gen Con vai conseguir segurar a onda e voltar a dar lucros em 2009 mesmo com essa maldita crise?

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