[Update] Report: Atlus Parent Index Corporation To Begin Auctioning Operations Next Week
Update: Bloomberg has provided Game Informer with a direct translation of its story on Atlus parent Index Corporation's upcoming operations sale.
The facts that have emerged indicate that Index's market value has plummeted from 6.8 billion yen ($67.7 million) on the day before the fraud probe was initiated to approximately 1.08 billion yen ($10.8 million). The company is seeking 15 billion in revenue from the sale. As we mentioned earlier, the company's stock will be delisted. We have also learned that company chairperson Masami Ochiai and CEO Yoshimi Ochiai will resign from their posts a day before this occurs.
Atlus has not issued a statement at this time.
News has come in from Bloomberg's Japanese outfit that things have gone from bad to worse for Atlus parent Index Corporation. The company will begin selling off its operations next week.
This follows an announcement at the end of June that Index had filed for "rehabilitation" (a form of bankruptcy) due to debt amounting to 24.5 billion yen ($249 million). The bankruptcy came on the heels of an investigation for "round tripping," a mechanism in which sales numbers are inflated to defraud investors.
Index will be delisted from JASDAQ on July 28, and the company hopes to move quickly before its assets are devalued. The entire matter could be wrapped up as early as September. We have reached out to Atlus for comment.
When I wrote further analysis about this situation in the June 29, 2013 weekly recap, I identified a number of possible scenarios. The best case, in which Index recovers, is off the table.
This leaves three others, and until we know for certain if Atlus' games were involved in the round tripping fraud, it's hard to know what's going to happen. My hope is that whomever picks up the publisher and its stable of fantastic RPGs recognizes the company for its successes.
Atlus has only been picking up steam in the past few years, and its certainly found a rhythm on handheld devices. While I would prefer to see Persona 5 on a home console, right now I'm more concerned about getting it at all.