Shares in embattled UK publisher Eidos have jumped by over 10 per cent in today's trading, after a report in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper suggested that rival firm SCi might be planning to bid for the company.
Once dwarfed by Eidos, SCi - based just a few miles up the road from Eidos' Wimbledon headquarters in the South London borough of Clapham - recently saw its market capitalisation sail past its larger rival as its share price was propelled forwards by a number of hits such as the Conflict series.
Now, in the ultimate reversal of roles, the Telegraph has reported that SCi is interested in making an eleventh hour bid for Eidos - which admitted in its recently filed six month results that if it did not find a buyer by March 25th, it could be forced to enter liquidation.
The report of SCi's interest has driven shares in Eidos up by around 11 per cent on the London Stock Exchange today, with the shares now sitting at just under 44 pence - valuing the company at around UKP 62 million.
A successful bid by SCi would see Eidos' valuable IP - including Tomb Raider, the Lara Croft character, Hitman, Deus Ex and Championship Manager - remaining in UK hands, but it is considered to be a remote possibility industry insiders, since the up front purchase cost of Eidos is only a fraction of the overall cost anticipated in turning the company around and integrating its activities with another publisher.
In the aforementioned six month report, Eidos confirmed that it had an offer on the table at 53 pence, but noted that this offer depended on the fulfilment of a certain undisclosed condition. No news of the progress of this offer has emerged since then, and it's not known who was behind it.
Other companies who have been linked to bids for Eidos in recent weeks include media empire News Corporation, which strongly denied being interested in the firm despite having claimed in January that it was "kicking the tyres" of nearly every company in the games industry, French publisher Ubisoft and US venture capital firms Elevation Partners LP and Francisco Partners LP.