Square Enix bids for Eidos

Tomb Raider publisher's board accepts £84.3 million offer, unanimously recommends deal to shareholders.

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The identity of the company with which Eidos Interactive--formerly known as SCi Entertainment--entered takeover talks in January has been revealed. Today, the board of the beleaguered publisher revealed that it has come to an agreement with none other than Japanese role-playing game giant Square Enix.

Talking about the deal, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada said: "Eidos' products are highly complementary to our business and will accelerate our aggressive expansion into Western markets." In the announcement of the offer, the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Hitman, Thief, Championship Manager, and Just Cause franchises were called out as being among "the world's leading video game properties."

The Japanese publisher's offer of £84.3 million ($120 million) is being unanimously recommended to Eidos shareholders by the firm's board. That total represents an offer of 32 pence ($0.46) per share, which is more than triple the company's value when the approach was made, and double its share price when the London Stock Exchange closed yesterday. Since the announcement this morning, Eidos shares have climbed further, peaking at 31.25p ($0.45)--a 123 percent rise from the opening bell.

The announcement follows the news in January, shortly before Eidos announced that it had received and was considering a takeover approach, that sales of Tomb Raider Underworld had failed to meet expectations. Last year, the company shed 20 percent of its workforce, and its CEO admitted that the company needed "immediate change" to deliver appropriate returns to its investors.

Square Enix has been looking for acquisition targets to expand its global reach for some time, with Wada saying that his firm was "talking with quite a few companies in and outside of Japan," with a view to acquisitions. The move follows the Japanese publishing house's unsuccessful $200m move for Tecmo, and comes as its own share price is in the doldrums, nearing a six-year low. The company also released its delayed revised financial projections for the current financial year, downgrading its expected net income by 62.5 percent, blaming conditions in the arcade and offline gaming segments of its business.

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