Japan's Square Enix to Buy 'Tomb Raider' Firm Eidos Interactive
Of all the potential suitors for Eidos Interactive, Japanese RPG power house Square Enix seemed like the definite underdog.
Time Warner already owned a significant number of Eidos shares, and has recently made moves to increase that number. In spite of this, SE went ahead with rumored plans to purchase Eidos, in a continued attempt to extend its Western reach.
However, Square Enix agreed to buy the British firm behind titles such as 'Tomb Raider' and 'Championship Manager' for 84.3 million pounds ($120.8 million) to extend its reach in Europe.
To quote: Square Enix also said on Thursday it was postponing the latest sequel of its blockbuster game 'Dragon Quest' by nearly four months and slashed its full-year profit outlook.
Square Enix, which also makes 'Final Fantasy' role-playing games, said it would pay 32 pence a share in cash for Eidos (EIDE.L), which has been hit by weaker-than-expected U.S. sales of 'Tomb Raider: Underworld', its latest game starring scantily-clad swashbuckler Lara Croft.
That is over three times Eidos' closing share price of 9 pence on Jan. 14, the day before the bid approach was announced. The deal turns up the heat on U.S. media giant Time Warner (TWX.N), which owns 20 percent of Eidos and has been tipped as a potential bidder.
Time Warner could not immediately be reached for comment.
Square Enix said it had received undertakings in support of its bid from Insight Investment Management and Cazenove Capital Management, which together own about 13 percent of Eidos.
These undertakings will lapse if a third party tops Square Enix's offer by at least 15 percent.
Square Enix said it would fund the deal from internal cash resources and expected it to close in April.