Eidos receives 71m offer

Long saga of Eidos' buyout drawing to a close as Riccitiello and Bono's equity firm Elevation makes a bid.

Former EA president John Riccitiello is back in the games business, after beleaguered British publisher Eidos last night accepted a UKP 71 million buyout bid from Elevation Partners, the private equity firm which he co-founded last year.

Elevation's offer for Eidos values each share in the company at 50 pence - significantly ahead of the Monday closing price of 44.75 pence, but only around a third of the company's valuation this time last year.

Eidos confirmed tonight that its board has accepted the offer, and will be recommending it to shareholders - with chairman John van Kuffeler commenting that "the board firmly believes that shareholders' interests are best served by a sale of the company."

New owner Elevation Partners LP was formed in mid-2004 by John Riccitiello, fresh from a stint as president of Electronic Arts, and entrepreneur Roger McNamee, and has since added a number of high profile managing partners - including U2's lead singer Paul Hewson, better known by his stage name Bono.

What the firm plans to do with Eidos is as yet unknown, but its offer for the publisher came not a moment too soon - as Eidos needed to find a buyer by March 25th under the terms of its new financing agreement with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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