More backing for SCi's Eidos bid

Merrill Lynch adds its shares to SCi's pile as Elevation's bid founders.

Over a quarter of Eidos' shareholders have now made irrevocable undertakings to accept the offer for the company from rival British publisher SCi, leaving the competing offer from US firm Elevation Partners in serious difficulty.

The latest major shareholder to sign up with SCi is Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which has signed an irrevocable undertaking representing around 4.87 per cent of Eidos' issued share capital.

This brings the total percentage of Eidos' stock which is committed to the SCi deal to 26.3 per cent - enough to put a serious dent in Elevation Partners' ambitions to take over the publisher, as Elevation's bid is believed to require acceptance on behalf of 75 per cent of Eidos stock.

However, only 24.6 per cent of the shares currently committed to SCi's offers will remain binding if another company - or Elevation - submits a bid with a higher value for Eidos in the coming days.

Senior Eidos management met with SCi in London yesterday to discuss the offer, but no outcome from that meeting has yet been revealed. It's believed that if SCi's bid is successful, the majority of Eidos' senior management will be removed in a major restructuring of the company.

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