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Speculation mounts on Warner Bros acquisition of SCi

By Phil Elliott

Thu 23 Oct 2008 8:36am GMT / 4:36am EDT / 1:36am PDT

Board resignations and shareholding increase add fuel to takeover rumours

Speculation is mounting that Warner Bros is poised to launch an acquisition bid for UK publisher SCi, following a number of board member movements and share dealings.

According to sources, Warner Bros has been eyeing up another acquisition for some time following last year's purchase of Traveller's Tales and has now decided that SCi is the right candidate.

Earlier this month two non-executive board members - firstly Robert Tchenguiz' representative Aaron Brown, and then Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group president Kevin Tsujihara - resigned from their posts, clearing the way for a possible bid.

Warner Bros also recently increased its shareholding in SCi by 5 million shares to take a 16.1 per cent stake in the publisher, which has seen its share price drop from a high last year of GBP 5.20 to a current price of just 21.25 pence.

Earlier this year the former management team of Jane Cavanagh and Bill Ennis stepped down after several months of takeover negotiations failed to result in a deal.

Since then Phil Rogers has taken the reins and instigated a restructure of the company, focusing on a studio-led shape to the business.

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