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Eidos takeover roundup: Take Two also a possible Lara Croft suitor, says analysts December 17, 2008

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in Crystal Dynamics, Eidos, Future Games, Square Enix.
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As if four suitors weren’t already enough, Lara lures in yet another one as a bidder for takeover. Top financial website Seeking Alpha (SA) is saying that “as a wild card,” the Grand Theft Auto series publisher is “worth a bit of consideration” as a potential buyer for Eidos PLC. Aside from the “poetic symmetry” of current Take Two chairman Strauss Zelnick being the former head of Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, Take Two (with $338m as of July 31st) can easily acquire the £60m to £80m-tagged Lara Croft publisher, if affordability issues were a concern.

On the subject of the earlier reported potential buyers for Eidos, SA puts it this way:

  • Warner Brothers Entertainment is the far and away front runner. The possibility of a takeover is there, but there’s no guarantee. “WBE could simply be accumulating enough of a position to ensure it has the power to block out another buyer should one come along.”
  • Electronic Arts‘ previous endeavor of buying out Take Two reveals that the company has more than enough money to acquire Eidos entirely. EA being the mobile games publishing arm of Eidos would also make further negotiations smoother; “once dating, a marriage is an easier prospect.”
  • Ubisoft‘s portfolio of recent acquisitions would indicate that another takeover deal (this time, Eidos) would seem entirely possible. However, Ubisoft’s net cash position (€72.3m as of Sept 30th) would not be enough to acquire Eidos. “A Ubisoft buyout of Eidos would have to be either a stock-based deal, debt driven, or be structured as some form of hybrid.”
  • Square Enix‘s thrust to expand West-ward through acquiring established hit franchises or high end studios could prove to be an unlikely feat. “Given WBE’s relationship as Eidos’ distributor in North America, it doesn’t seem likely. Nor does the prospect of Eidos selling off just one brand or studio property.”

Needless to say, nothing has yet to be set in stone, but SA calls it that the next six months may very well see the day Lara Croft gets a new daddy.

Fingers crossed? Most definitely.

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