Report: Harmonix Buys Independence For $49.99

Report: Harmonix Buys Independence For $49.99

Report: Harmonix Buys Independence For $49.99

Claims Viacom sold Harmonix for the price of a game; tax benefit and liability transfer sweeten the deal.

Rock Band developer Harmonix returned to independent status for the cost of one of its games, according to reports in the US.

As we reported yesterday, Harmonix was sold by former parent company Viacom to Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Columbus Nova, LLC. The terms of the sale were not disclosed in the announcement, but All Things Digital report that the sale was completed for the princely sum of $49.99.

However Viacom stand to benefit from the deal in less direct ways. The Los Angeles Times reports that Viacom told shareholders it would receive a $50 million tax benefit as a result of removing Harmonix from its portfolio.

Viacom is also $100 million better off after Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC took on all Harmonix’s liabilities.

MTV owner Viacom acquired the then-independent Harmonix for an initial $175 million in 2006, but an overly generous profit-sharing deal with former Harmonix shareholders, followed by a sharp decline in music game sales, led them to put the developer up for sale in November.

Viacom is currently locked in a legal battle with former Harmonix shareholders, with Viacom seeking repayment of what it claims were excessive payments in 2007, and the shareholders claiming non-payment of bonuses due on 2008 profits.