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[ March 21st 2005 ]

Shares in video-game publisher Eidos have climbed 14% during morning trade with analysts speculating interest from SCi responsible for the up-turn in market capital. This weekend Bloomberg.com reported SCi Entertainment Group was currently carrying out due diligence and is likely to make a formal offer for Eidos this week. Some analysts are speculating SCi has been unmasked as the mysterious suitor Eidos quoted in the company's recent interim results ending December 2004.

In the statement, the company confirmed "a proposal had been received on 2 March 2005 of a possible cash offer at a price of 53 pence per share, subject to one principal condition. However there can be no assurance that this condition will be satisfied and no certainty that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made. This disclosure had not been made with the consent of the other party."

Eidos, a company formally valued at over 1.5B during the 90's, has been slowly haemorrhaging during the past five years, culminating with the closure of a historic low of 39p last week. Royal Bank of Scotland recently extended a multi-million pound loan with a two-week redemption stinger. Since announcing its intention of seeking a buyer, Eidos has reportedly been adjudicated by a string of suitors vying for a takeover bid, including UBI SOFT, EA, Infogrames and more recently Rupert Murdock's News Corp. A formal offer has yet to be made. Eidos must secure funding within the next 7 days or face risk of being forced to sell off assets to satisfy RBS dept.

Eidos bolsters an arsenal of leading IPs including the phenomenally successful Tomb Raider franchise, now under the charge of acclaimed Soul Reaver creators Crystal Dynamics, the Hitman series, developed by IO Interactive, and Championship Manager, now under the aegis of Beautiful Game Studio. During the past ten years, the London-based publisher has also acquired many of the studios responsible for developing Eidos' leading performing titles, including IO Interactive and original Lara Croft architect Core Design.

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