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SCi picks up nearly 20 per cent of Eidos

Major investment bank gets behind SCi's proposal, bringing a fifth of Eidos' stock with it.

UK publisher SCi's offer for embattled rival Eidos has received a major boost this afternoon, with investment firm Schroder accepting the offer on behalf of shareholders representing almost 20 per cent of the firm's stock.

Schroder Investment Management has been one of the most active purchasers of Eidos stock over the past year or so, and it has now given an irrevocable acceptance of SCi's bid on behalf of 14.99 per cent of Eidos' shareholders, and a letter of intent on behalf of a further 4.79 per cent.

Under the terms of the offer, this will give Schroder one share of SCi (SEG) stock in return for every six shares of Eidos (EID) stock it currently holds, which valued Eidos' shares at around 53 pence at Monday's closing prices.

The news makes SCi's acquisition of Eidos look highly likely, since it basically means that a fifth of Eidos' shareholders are in favour of the SCi deal over the rival proposition from Elevation Partners, a private equity firm which numbers former EA president John Riccitiello and U2 frontman Bono among its managing partners.

Elevation's deal would effectively place a lower valuation on Eidos - 50 pence per share, to be exact - but it's a cash deal rather than a stock deal, and the firm has indicated that it plans on keeping quite a bit of the existing management structure in place at the publisher, unlike SCi, which has been quite clear about its intent to make major changes at its Wimbledon-based rival.