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Australian Distributor Red Ant In Financial Difficulties

Australian and New Zealand video game distributor Red Ant, which manages distribution for dozens of DVD and game firms including Capcom and Konami, is in major financial trouble -- entering receivership due to the weakened Australian dollar, according to
Australian and New Zealand independent distributor Red Ant, which manages video game and DVD distribution for dozens of vendors including Capcom and Konami, is in major financial trouble and now under external administration. Deloitte Touche was appointed Red Ant's receiver and is currently managing the company while seeking a buyer. Co-receiver David Lombe, who heads corporate reorganization at Deloitte Touche, attributes Red Ant's troubles to Australia's weakening dollar. “Red Ant was hedging on the Euro, which amounted to a huge currency loss when the Australian dollar lost value,” says Lombe, according to a report from Australian technology news site ARN. Lombe adds that Red Ant has hundreds of creditors, and that the company is still trading, though "resources are limited due to the number of creditors." Red Ant's distribution partners include publishers such as Bethesda, Midway, SouthPeak, Deep Silver, and Capcom; its 2009 slate featured several major upcoming releases, such as Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter 4. The company also recently secured a deal with developer and publisher Konami to take over distribution duties from Atari starting this February, due to Namco Bandai's purchase of a significant stake in Atari parent Infogrames' European and Asian distribution operations. Rival publisher and distributor Manaccom expressed interest in taking over some of Red Ant's partnerships, with its managing director Ian Mackay commenting, "We were involved with games a number of years ago, but felt the market had become very crowded. We see this as an opportunity to become involved again – there are not many independent distributors in Australia."

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