Elevation Partners acquires Eidos

UK publisher accepts $135 million bid from US venture capital firm partly run by Irish rocker Bono.

Just one day after the well-regarded British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that Eidos was being pursued by SCi Entertainment, Reuters is reporting the publisher has been sold...to a totally different company. The wire service is reporting that late today, Eidos accepted an offer from Elevation Partners. Headed by a board of directors that includes U2 lead singer Bono, Elevation Partners has been a rumored Eidos buyer for several months, along with French publisher Ubisoft and now SCi.

According to Reuters, Elevation Partners made Eidos an offer it couldn't refuse: 71 million pounds ($135 million) in cash, or 50p ($0.95) per share. The price was more than 5p ($0.095) higher than the 44.75p ($0.85) at which Eidos' stock closed on Monday, following a surge sparked by the Telegraph article.

The Reuters article revealed Eidos had been entertaining a 53p ($1.00) per share offer earlier this month from an unnamed buyer. However, the looming March 25 deadline for future financing set by Eidos' primary lender, the Royal Bank of Scotland, apparently forced the company to accept a less-favorable deal. The pressure was no doubt accelerated by the six-month earnings report issued last week, which outlined how the company suffered a 26.5 million pound ($50.23 million) operating loss.

For its part, Eidos was largely mum on the transaction. "The board firmly believes that shareholders' interests are best served by a sale of the company," company chairman John van Kuffeler said in a statement. American representatives of the company declined to further comment.

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