While Take-Two Interactive has grabbed the majority of the headlines following EA's $26 per share--now $25.74--buyout offer, it isn't the only publisher grappling with acquisition offers. Beginning last September, ailing publisher and Eidos parent SCi Entertainment said it was entertaining purchase offers, with Ubisoft, Midway, Time Warner, and an unnamed Chinese company, all named as potential suitors.
Last week, British tabloid The Daily Mail reignited SCi buyout speculation, saying NBC Universal--a joint venture of General Electric's NBC and Vivendi SA--was "putting the finishing touches" on a £50 million (about $99 million) placing and rights issuance. While SCi confirmed several days after the fact that it was currently entertaining an offer, it did not explicitly name NBC Universal as the suitor.
Today, SCi's board said it had turned down the mystery buyout offer on the grounds that it undervalued the company and failed to provide necessary financial stability. It issued a statement that read: "The Board considers, amongst other things, that the proposal does not represent sufficient value and that, given the group's significant short- to medium-term funding requirements, the pursuit of an uncertain takeover proposal with consequent delay and risks to the company's proposed issuance of new equity to fund the execution of its revised strategic plan would not be in the best interests of the company or its shareholders."
Following dismal back half of the year results in February, SCi said that it needed to immediately raise between £45 million (about $89 million) and £55 million (about $109 million) in working capital. As part of the earnings statement, SCi announced significant restructuring efforts, cutting 200 jobs and canning 14 unspecified games in the process. The publisher also said it would be refocusing its publishing efforts around established franchises, such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, and creating a new casual gaming label, Eidos Play.