Bankrupt Game Developer Index Said to Start Auction Next Week

Index Corp., the bankrupt developer of handheld games for Nintendo Corp. and Sony Corp., plans to start an auction for a buyer as early as next week, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company will seek as much as 15 billion yen ($151 million) in a sale, which would exclude its 24.5 billion yen in debt, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Index is seeking to reach an agreement as soon as in September, the people said.

Index is being investigated by Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission on suspicion that it falsified financial reports, according to a June 12 statement. The day before the probe was disclosed, Index had a market value of 6.8 billion yen. Its shares have dropped 84 percent since then.

Index, based in Tokyo, develops software for Nintendo’s 3-D handheld players and Sony’s PlayStation, as well as smartphone applications. It was forced to seek court protection from its creditors in part because of investment losses from earlier acquisitions, Index said on June 27. The company hired GCA Savvian Corp. to advise it on the sale, it said this month.

Kazumasa Otsuka, a lawyer at Nijubashi Partners representing Index for court protection, declined to comment on the planned sale.

The company posted a loss of 2.3 billion yen for the six-month period that ended Feb. 28, Index said in April. Total debt was 24.5 billion yen as of May 31, the June 27 statement showed.

Index shares will be delisted on July 28, the Osaka Securities Exchange Co. said on June 27. Chairman Masami Ochiai and Chief Executive Officer Yoshimi Ochiai plan to resign, Index said the same day.

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