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Court hands Gizmondo Europe to liquidators

Attempt to seek bankruptcy protection fails

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Gizmondo Europe has gone into liquidation after parent company Tiger Telematics' attempt to persuade the English High Court to put the subdsidiary into administration failed last week, Reg Hardware can reveal.

The court hearing took place on Thursday, 2 February after being adjourned from Tuesday, 31 January. The court ordered Gizmondo Europe to be wound up and placed the remains in the hands of joint liquidators David Rubin & Associates and Bigbee & Traynor.

In a document sent to the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Tiger said it "assumes that the liquidator 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".

Ironically, one of the potential buyers may be Tiger itself - it said it is in talks with US-based lender Lafitte Partners - source of a $5m bridging loan needed by Tiger "for its immediate liquidity" - and the liquidator to buy "certain assets" of Gizmondo Europe. Success is likely to depend on whether Lafitte will provide Tiger with sufficient funds to purchase the assets.

Today, Gizmondo Europe was still offering consoles and related products for sale via the company's web site. However, the company's showroom on London's prestigious Regent Street was closed. At posting time, the liquidators had not responded to our request for information as to their plans for the company.

Tiger said it was considering its own future in the light of the High Court verdict, and of the liquidation of its game studios in Stockholm, Sweden and Manchester, England. For starters, it's now able to eliminate $72m of the $90m liabilities recorded on its balance sheet as of 30 September 2005. It said it was pondering the sale of the whole company, parts of it, or elements of the intellectual property it owns, "including patents and game rights, and continuing operations in the USA". ®

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