Bono's boys bow out of Eidos bid

Elevation Partners ends its pursuit of Brit publisher; SCi seen as winner in bidding war.

After a brief fling, Elevation Partners has parted ways with one Lara Croft.

Eidos Interactive, the Wimbledon-based publishing house responsible for Lego Star Wars and the Tomb Raider series, has been searching for a buyer since early 2004; today, one of its top suitors, Bono-backed Elevation Partners, has decided to remove its offer from the table.

That leaves London-based SCi as the only remaining bidder for the company.

Elevation Partners is a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm that specializes in media and entertainment investment properties. In addition to Bono, one of its partners is former Electronic Arts president John Riccitiello.

Elevation Partners and SCi have been sparring over the Eidos purchase since late last year. The two competing bidders have even, at times, exchanged harsh words. But today's announcement by Elevation Partners offered tidings of good luck to SCi, whose offer is expected to be voted on by Eidos shareholders on May 13.

Earlier this month, SCi's all-stock bid for Eidos received a healthy boost from a large portion of Eidos shareholders, giving the company's offer a much-needed advantage over the Elevation Partners all-cash offer. Originally, the Eidos board of directors had backed the Elevation offer, but following the shareholder endorsement of the SCi deal, the board switched sides, prompting payment of a $1.3 million fee to Eidos for the right to withdraw the offer.

It remains unclear whether SCi, publisher of the Carmageddon series of racing games, will end up owning Eidos. But at this point, there are no remaining bidders in the running. GameSpot will report any further developments in this story as they occur.

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