Square Enix increases stake in Eidos

Japanese publisher's £9.39 million buyout of 29.35 million shares puts it in control of more than one third of financially lagging British publisher.


Eidos is underwater, in more ways than one...
Eidos is underwater, in more ways than one...

Two weeks ago, Japanese publisher Square Enix stunned the game industry by announcing that it was making a takeover bid for Eidos Interactive. Facing all but certain financial doom after disappointing sales of Tomb Raider: Underworld, the board of the British publisher, previously known as SCi Entertainment, unanimously urged its shareholders to accept the £84.3 million (around $121.76 million), 32p ($0.46) per-share bid.

On Monday, Square Enix announced that two major Eidos shareholders had accepted the 32p-per-share offer. Pioneer Investment Management Ltd. sold 27,349,341 shares, and Insight Investment Management unloaded 2 million shares. For the combined 29,349,341 shares, representing about 11.13 percent of Eidos' issued stock, the Final Fantasy XIII maker paid £9,391,789 ($13.52 million).

The dual purchase puts Square Enix much closer to acquiring majority ownership in Eidos. Including its own holdings, the company now has "irrevocable undertakings to vote in favor of the (buyout) resolution" from holders of 84,947,489 Eidos shares, or 32.23 percent of the company's voting stock. It also has a letter of intent from holders of a further 8,919,628 shares comprising approximately 3.38 percent of Eidos shares, putting its total control at 35.61 percent of the company--still 14.40 percent short of having majority control.

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