Ubisoft behind SCi approach?

One prominent British newspaper believes Ubisoft is currently in talks with the Eidos parent.

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The rumour mill has gone into overdrive after the announcement made by UK-based SCi Entertainment earlier this week that it was involved in "extremely preliminary" takeover talks.

SCi has not revealed the name of the potential suitor, although financial Web sites and analysts have voiced their own opinions.

Top of the list so far has been Warner Bros., which in December last year bought a 10 percent stake in SCi and then licensed swathes of its extensive IP to the British firm.

Megapublisher Electronic Arts has also been touted as a possible candidate, along with Sony as an outside chance.

Now The Guardian has placed its bets on French company Ubisoft, which it also believes made an approach to the company in 2005, although a formal offer was never made.

Another rumour with a decidedly Gallic flavour being touted by some well-placed industry insiders puts entertainment giant Vivendi Universal in the frame. The parent company of Blizzard and Sierra has been suggested as an interested party due to the recent financial success of the company's gaming properties, Vivendi's long-term strategy of growth through acquisition, and the potential for internal synergies with its other gaming properties.

This is not the first time that the French giant has been linked with SCi. In 2005, shortly after SCi's acquisition of Eidos, rumours in the British press forced Vivendi to issue a terse denial of its interest in the British firm.

SCi shares were up 44.5p last night to 384p, putting the company's current market value at £332 million ($669 million).

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