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SCi Shares Edge Higher On Takeover Rumors

SCi Shares Edge Higher On Takeover Rumors

December 21, 2005 | By Simon Carless

December 21, 2005 | By Simon Carless
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According to a UK Financial Times market report, shares in UK-based game publisher and developer SCi, which acquired Tomb Raider creator Eidos in a major stock deal earlier in 2005, have been edging higher after acquisition rumors.

According to the FT report, there has been further speculation that U.S. publisher Midway Games or the French-headquartered Vivendi might make a takeover offer for SCi. In fact, SCi has previously confirmed that takeover talks were taking place, back in October, indicating that it had received approaches from various unnamed parties without any guarantee of an offer.

At the time, Reuters was citing UK newspaper reports naming major publishers Midway (as a possible front-runner) and Electronic Arts as being the front runners in any possible buyout, and indicating that private equity firm Apax Partners Worldwide is also interested, but none of these names are confirmed in any way. In addition, with Midway's recent profit warnings, it's unclear whether the company is perfectly positioned for another acquisition.

Another possible company looking at SCi, at least according to UK newspapers, was Blizzard and Sierra owner Vivendi Universal, but the company released a statement commenting: "In view of articles published in the UK press, Vivendi Universal denies any interest in Sci Entertainment and also denies having made any offer", thus removing that possibility.

Nonetheless, SCi shares were up around 4% to UKP6.15 ($10.70) by the end of trading on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, and the company's stocks are even featured on a Motley Fool list of 'stocks you should have bought this year', following a 138% rise throughout the year.

[UPDATE: 1.58pm PST - new Vivendi statement added.]


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