UBISOFT SET TO
ACQUIRE EIDOS FOR 215m
Copyright 2004 The Telegraph
[ August 8th 2004 ]
Croft, the computer-generated heroine and pneumatic
pin-up girl for the UK's teenage population, is
set to bid au revoir to her British investors
after Ubisoft, the giant French games publisher,
emerged this weekend as the front-runner to snap
up Eidos, its struggling UK rival. The British
company, which created Lara in its successful
Tomb Raider series of games, is locked in takeover
talks with Ubisoft.
believe the deal could value Eidos at more than
£215m or around 150p a share. Eidos shares closed
on Friday at just 109p, having plummeted from
184p in May. The company has dismayed shareholders
by issuing three profits warnings in the past
managers from Ubisoft are understood to have spent
most of the past week at Eidos's headquarters,
hammering out details of the takeover. However,
the French group could yet face competition from
other major companies including Microsoft, Sony
and THQ, all of which want to strengthen their
interests in computer gaming by adding to their
portfolios of game titles.
management, led by Mike McGarvey, the chief executive,
is also believed to be considering a buyout and
is looking for financial and private equity backers.
Eidos has increasingly struggled to compete with
its larger rivals and its key title for this year,
Hitman: Contracts, has suffered poor retail sales
on both sides of the Atlantic.
or another foreign rival, succeeds in taking over
Eidos, it would leave the UK without any substantial
computer game publishers. The games market is
increasingly dominated by a small handful of giant
companies which have the financial muscle to create
ever more sophisticated titles that require millions
of pounds to develop.