SCi scooping up Eidos?

British newspaper reports that two of the UK's biggest publishers could soon become one.


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Just weeks after the press was awash in reports that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation was on the verge of acquiring Eidos, the publisher is apparently being courted by another suitor.

On Sunday, mainstream London newspaper The Daily Telegraph ran an article saying UK publisher SCi Entertainment "may be poised to make an eleventh-hour bid" for the Lara Croft creator. The piece said that "it is believed that SCi is currently carrying out due diligence that may lead to a formal bid for Eidos as early as this week."

While almost entirely unsubstantiated, the Telegraph article did cause Eidos' stock to rise 9.46 percent on Monday, climbing $0.07 to $0.81. The spike came despite a looming deadline from Eidos' primary creditor, the Royal Bank of Scotland. The financial institution extended a 23 million-pound load to the game publisher earlier this year--funds which will run out as of this Friday, March 25. Eidos will need to land "alternative financing" or be bought out by that time to avoid possible bankruptcy.

However, while it singled out SCi, which many industry watchers believe doesn't have the funds required to resurrect Eidos, the Telegraph also listed a number of other potential buyers. Those included the previously rumored buyers Elevation Partners, the venture-capital group headed in part by U2 lead singer Bono, and French publisher Ubisoft.

Eidos recently released a dismal six-month earnings report, which also revealed delays in its premiere franchises, including the next Tomb Raider and Hitman: Blood Money games. It also said that the seventh Tomb Raider game was also in development for the PSP and next-generation Xbox.

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