Software distributor winds up casualty to the Aussie dollar

Receivers are appointed to gaming software distributor, Red Ant, after it experiences financial difficulties and became insolvent

Independent gaming software distributor, Red Ant, has been placed in receivership after running into financial difficulty because of the weak Australian dollar.

Deloitte Touche was appointed receiver on January 16. Co-receiver, David Lombe, attributed Red Ant’s demise to the weakening of the Australian dollar against international currencies.

“Red Ant was hedging on the Euro, which amounted to a huge currency loss when the Australian dollar lost value,” Lombe said. The receivers are now working on selling the business as a going concern.

Lombe said Red Ant had hundreds of creditors but wouldn’t disclose further details.

“It is still trading, although resources are limited due to the number of creditors,” he added.

Red Ant distributes gaming titles from a number of major vendors including Capcom, Konami, Bethesda and Midway. Requests for comment from staff were not answered at time of publication.

Managing director of rival software publisher and distributor Manaccom, Ian Mackay, was surprised by the news and claimed Red Ant had a product release line-up until December. The company had also recently signed a deal to takeover Australian distribution of Konami, effective from February.

Mackay said Manaccom was interested in picking up a number of partnerships from Red Ant. “We were involved with games a number of years ago, but felt the market had become very crowded,” he said. “We see this as an opportunity to become involved again – there are not many independent distributors in Australia.”

JB Hi-Fi is one of several mass merchants dealing with Red Ant. Its CEO, Richard Uechtritz, didn’t expect much disruption to the retailer’s supply. He believed the company was one of its smaller software suppliers.

Other retailers understood to be working with the company include EB Games, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith Electronics.

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Matthew Sainsbury
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