Copyright 2005

[ March 22nd 2005 ]

SCi Entertainment Group PLC has launched a rival all share offer for Eidos PLC at 53 pence per share, valuing the company at about GBP 76.1 million. As we reported last week, SCi has been carrying out due diligence with analysts speculating a formal offer for Eidos would be made this week. The SCi offer counters one made by HM Holding (Elevation Partners) overnight and values Eidos approx. 5 million higher.

SCi Chief Exec Jane Cavanagh confirmed the offer a few moments ago. "I can confirm today that SCi Entertainment Group has announced intention to make a share for share bid offer to acquire British publisher Eidos PLC. Eidos has an excellent portfolio of successful titles and has been at the very forefront of the games industry, but it is no secret that the company has experienced turbulent times in recent years."

Overnight, Elevation Partners tendered a successful bid for beleaguered firm Eidos. U.S. private equity group Elevation Partners - which includes U2 singer Bono and former Electronic Arts president John Riccitiello - offered 50 pence for each Eidos share for the whole of the issued and to be issued share capital of Eidos. The bid values Eidos at approximately GBP 71.0 million.

Elevation Partners describes itself as a newly formed private equity firm that makes large-scale investments in market-leading media, entertainment, and consumer-related businesses. Elevationís focus is on intellectual property businesses where it can partner with management to enhance growth and profitability through a combination of strategic capital and operational insight.

SCi Entertainment Group describes itself as one of the UKís leading publishers of computer games, with a valuable portfolio of intellectual property and a year on year track record of both profitable growth and chart success.

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. The bidding war betwen the two giants brings to an end months of speculation on the future of Eidos, its employees and shareholders.

Eidos has yet to decide which offer to accept.

* SCi data from AFX.

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