Silverstar to acquire Empire

NASDAQ-listed company has put in "definite offer" for UK-based Empire Interactive.

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Silverstar Holdings Ltd. has made an offer to Empire Interactive that calls for either a cash payment of 7p (approx. $0.13) per share on closing or an earn-out alternative for shareholders. It reported that Empire's two principal shareholders have given irrevocable undertakings to vote their 62 percent shareholdings in favour of the earn-out alternative. The deal is expected to be concluded by the end of November.

Silverstar was originally set up in 1995 as Leisureplanet Holdings before changing its name in 2000. Recently the company has specialised in investing in electronic game and technology businesses, including Strategy First.

Empire Interactive has offices in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain and produced games including Starsky and Hutch, Bad Boys II, and Big Mutha Truckers. It had previously announced that it had entered into "discussions with other parties, which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the Group."

Empire's nonexecutive chairman, Sir Rodney Walker, told UK trade site MCV: "I am pleased to announce this recommended offer for Empire. Given the difficult trading conditions in the games publishing industry and the increasingly uncertain financial condition of the company, the independent directors believe the offer represents the best course of action available for the Empire business, its employees and all of its shareholders."

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