Copyright 2004

[ May 13th 2004 ]

Computer games heroine Lara Croft is being stalked. As the big noises of the industry converged on Los Angeles this week for the E3 trade show, rumours have been rife that Eidos is about to get zapped by a US predator. Up a sprightly 11p on Tuesday, shares of the video games publisher advanced to a year's peak of 184p before succumbing to the general dull trend to finish 2p off at 175p.

The name in the frame is THQ, the US games distributor and publisher. It is believed to be ready to table an offer comprising cash and shares, which will value Eidos at around 280p per share, or 390m. A stakebuilding operation has been under way since early March. It has lifted the Eidos share price from 125p.

In April, the company demanded that GNI, a London-based derivatives broker which had acquired more than a 5% holding, should reveal the identity of the investor behind the share purchases. No chance. Dealers believe THQ wants to swallow Eidos to take a leading position in the consumer electronics business ahead of the arrival of two new hardware platforms - Sony's PSP, its first mobile gaming device, and Microsoft's new version of its Xbox games console.

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