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Empire Interactive Narrows Buyout Talks To One Company

UK-based game publisher Empire Interactive (FlatOut, Starship Troopers) has confirmed that the company continues to entertain takeover talks, commenting in an offi...
UK-based game publisher Empire Interactive (FlatOut, Starship Troopers) has confirmed that the company continues to entertain takeover talks, commenting in an official UK stock exchange statement that "the Board of Empire now wishes to announce that these discussions have progressed and that the Company is now in advanced exclusive discussions with one party." The company has also warned that its financial results will be impacted negatively by the ongoing talks, though it also notes that this was "combined with the decision by the Board to postpone the launch of certain other titles in order to improve their impact", implying that some of Empire's forthcoming titles have been delayed for quality reasons. The company has been in takeover discussions for a number of months, and noted in February that it had been approached by two U.S. companies and one UK company. While unconfirmed, long-time U.S. distributor Vivendi and Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane have been rumored to be interested in acquiring the the British-headquartered publisher. As an adverse effect of the ongoing negotiations, Empire said that a number of distribution agreements for some of the company's upcoming titles have been delayed “pending further clarity as to the future independence of the company.” As a result, Empire Interactive's financial outlook for the 15 months leading to March 2006 will be negatively impacted. However, the company does continue to be hopeful that, with these games to debut soon, the financial prospects for 2007 remain high.

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