EIDOS PLC STILL
LOCKED IN TALKS
Copyright 2000 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ August 16th 2000 ]
computer games maker Eidos Plc said it was still
in talks that might lead to an offer for the company.
French video games software maker Infogrames Entertainment
said at the end of July that the British creator
of cyber-heroine Lara Croft was in its sights
but that the two parties were still far from final-stage
negotiations. Eidos shares rose four percent on
Tuesday's news to 430 pence, valuing it at approaching
half a billion pounds. It first said it was in
early-stage talks on June 20 and declined on Tuesday
to say if Infogrames was involved. Other potential
French suitors have circulated on the rumour mill.
Express said Ubi Soft Entertainment had approached
Eidos with a cash offer below the seven pounds
a share Infogrames was thought to be discussing
in an all-share offer. Eidos, which established
itself with its Croft-starring Tomb Raider series,
has issued profit-warnings as it endeavours to
adapt to new-generation gaming platforms. Analysts
have also expressed concerns that the London company
has yet to find another winner like Lara Croft
to spread its risks.
Arts Inc, which had annual turnover of $1.4 billion
in 2000, is the world leader in computer gaming.
It has also been cited in the media as a potential
bidder. Havas Interactive, a unit of Vivendi,
has denied speculation it was also in talks to
buy Eidos. Takeover speculation doubled Eidos"
share price to above five pounds when it first
surfaced, from a 250p low in May, but since then
the shares have slipped again. Morgan Stanley
Dean Witter is advising Eidos alongside house
broker, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.