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Bankrupt Gen Con averts hostile takeover

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The company behind one of the largest gaming conventions in North America has fended off a hostile takeover and is set to emerge from bankruptcy under a plan approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Western Washington.

Gen Con LLC filed for Chapter 11 protection in February 2008, citing “significant unforeseen expenses associated with attempts to expand its core business to encompass externally licensed events.”

The company’s annual Indianapolis event is on track for Aug. 13-16 of this year and Aug. 12-15, 2010.

One of the biggest gaming conventions around, it began in 1967 as an informal gathering of wargamers at the home of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax. It recently operated the four annual official Star Wars Celebration events. Even more recently, Gen Con was sued by Lucasfilm, which says the convention runner failed to uphold its obligations regarding a charity auction that was to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“This is bright day for us,” said Adrian Swartout, CEO of Gen Con, in a news release. “The entire team is looking forward to 2009 and continuing our growth as a stronger, more focused company. Our emergence from Chapter 11 is a testament to the skill and perseverance of our employees and the strength of the phenomenal Gen Con brand. Everyone here is excited to begin working outside of Chapter 11.”

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