SCi rebuffs Infogrames' advances

Atari's parent company confirms offer for Eidos parent, which declined to entertain current proposal.

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The games industry has seen a flurry of corporate activity in the past year. From EA consuming BioWare, to Bizarre moving to Activision, and Bungie breaking free of Microsoft, many high-profile gamemakers have either been bought up or have forged new relationships elsewhere. Deals are also being brokered at the publisher level, with the potential takeover of GTAIV publisher Take-Two by EA and the nearly concluded merger of Activision and Vivendi Games.

Another player in the industry receiving investment attention is SCi Entertainment, the parent company of British industry veteran Eidos. SCi has been receiving a lot of attention of late, previously reported to be from companies such as Ubisoft, Midway, and Time Warner. This week, French publisher Infogrames was confirmed as the latest suitor. The owner of Atari was forced to respond to rumours surrounding an offer for SCi, and it confirmed that although it has made an offer, SCi has so far declined to accept it.

Infogrames issued a statement saying that its offer had "potential to be significantly value enhancing to both SCi's and Infogrames' shareholders," but that SCi "declined, at this stage, to entertain Infogrames' offer." The exact details of the offer were not revealed, only that options "including but not limited to a potential merger with SCi" were considered.

SCi was forced to cut some 200 jobs and 14 games in February, despite the enduring popularity of flagship series Tomb Raider and Championship Manager. Infogrames is no stranger to financial problems either, having failed to post an annual profit since 1999. Despite this, the statement released to the press assured stakeholders that "Infogrames has sufficient resources to satisfy the cash element of its indicative offer" for SCi, and that the company would be able to move "expeditiously" if accepted. With SCi currently rescinding the offer, Infogrames states that it will make a further announcement if and when it's appropriate.

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