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SCi Entertainment Confirms Takeover Talks

Officials from SCi Entertainment, now the UK’s largest independent publisher, have confirmed that the company is in talks regarding a possible buyout, just five months af...
Officials from SCi Entertainment, now the UK’s largest independent publisher, have confirmed that the company is in talks regarding a possible buyout, just five months after it won a takeover battle to acquire Tomb Raider publisher Eidos (under which name the company currently publishes new titles). The company has confirmed that it has received approaches from various parties, according to an official statement, although without any guarantee of an offer. As a result of the statement, the company’s share price rocketed as high as 33 percent, with the company valued at £436 million ($771m) at one point during the day, and an increase of 25% to 6UKP ($10.62) per share at close. Reuters is citing UK newspaper reports naming major publishers Midway (as a possible front-runner) and Electronic Arts as being the front runners in any possible buyout, and indicating that private equity firm Apax Partners Worldwide is also interested, although these names are naturally not confirmed in any way. SCi’s portfolio of titles, which includes the Conflict series, Richard Burns Rally, Hitman and the world famous Tomb Raider, may be a better fit for Midway than for Electronic Arts, with Midway CEO David Zucker announcing in May that the company was looking for acquisitions – it’s most recent being British developer Pitbull Syndicate. The takeover talks have come as a surprise to many, however,including Artemis Investment Management, which owns 10 percent of SCi. “I didn’t see it coming at all”, news agency Bloomberg quotes fund manager John Dodd as saying. “I would follow SCi management. Cavanagh may think it's better to grow under a big American player.”

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