UPDATE 2-THQ files for bankruptcy, Clearlake to bid for assets

Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:51pm EST
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* THQ known for wrestling and "Saints Row" games

* Clearlake chosen from pool of buyers to make first bid

* THQ shares plunge 74 pct to close at 36 cents

* Foreign operations not included in bankruptcy filing

By Malathi Nayak

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Videogame maker THQ Inc said on Wednesday it filed for bankruptcy protection, and entered into an agreement with private investment firm Clearlake Capital Group for a potential sale of its assets, in a bid to tackle its financial troubles.

The assets to be sold include THQ's four studios and games in development. The filing was made in U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware.

Shares of THQ, which were briefly halted before the announcement, plunged 74 percent to close at 36 cents on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

"They're currently in default of one of their credit lines, so it's not a huge surprise," said Mike Hickey, analyst at National Alliance Capital Markets.   Continued...