MQA Ltd., which offers the high-res digital music technology, has reported;y filed for administration, the U.K. equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Details are scarce so far, but, according to sources like What HiFi, MQA released a statement that reads as follows:
“Following the recent positive reception to MQA’s latest technology (SCL6), there has been increased international interest in buying MQA Ltd. At the same time, MQA’s main financial backer is seeking an exit. In order to be in the best position to pursue market opportunities and expedite this process, the company has undergone a restructuring initiative, which includes entering into administration and is comparable to Chapter 11 in the U.S.”
MQA adds that: “”During this process, MQA continues to trade as usual alongside its partners. We won’t be commenting further while negotiations take place.”
MQA filed paperwork for the Appointment of Administrators last week. MQA recently launched the MQAir codec for Bluetooth, which it later renamed SCL6. The technology can purportedly transfer MQA and PCM audio files wirelessly at up to 384kHz at 24 bits. This would seemingly allow those with discerning ears to enjoy MQA quality content over Bluetooth, though there haven’t been any products, like headphones, announced with MQair (SCL6) just yet. What’s more, Bluetooth SIG did not include the spec in its latest release. However, the technology was approved by the Japan Audio Society.
“With MQAir,” Bob Stuart, founder and CTO of MQA said at the time of the launch last year, “we can improve the listening experience for many listeners and extend the MQA ecosystem to wireless devices.”
Anthony Edward Rupert, representative of Richemont (now Reinet), which owns a 24% stake in MQA, resigned his seat from the board last month.
Some sources believe the administration filing may be the result of MQA having an interested buyer for SCL6 specifically. In filing, the company would be able to sell part of its business without the buyer having to worry about the rest of the company.
MQA has many hardware partners, and is partnered with the music streaming service TIDAL, which offers plenty of high-res content using MQA technology.
MQA’s other biggest shareholders include Muse Holdings S.A.R.L., which has 27.75% of the company and Warner Music Inc., which owns 7.54% and Universal Music Leisure Ltd. at 7.42%.
Stay tuned for more details as they become available.