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Riccitiello savages SCi's bid for Eidos

Former EA president John Riccitiello has attacked SCi's plans to acquire UK publisher Eidos, accusing the firm of having "little experience" of running a large videogames company or managing major intellectual properties.

Former EA president John Riccitiello has attacked SCi's plans to acquire UK publisher Eidos, accusing the firm of having "little experience" of running a large videogames company or managing major intellectual properties.

In a statement issued to the financial markets late yesterday, Riccitiello warned of significant risks associated with the SCi bid, and encouraged Eidos shareholders to accept the rival bid from his company, Elevation Partners.

"While SCi is a successful company, it has little experience of integrating larger businesses, of running a major international video games company or in managing significant intellectual properties," he accused. "By contrast, EM Holding's cash offer provides certainty for Eidos shareholders."

In the statement, Elevation sets forth a number of arguments against SCi's bid - including a claim that SCi's proposed £60 million funding would not be enough to meet the financial challenges faced by Eidos, and that SCi's track record suggests that it does not have the experience of creating high quality games required to run Eidos.

Elevation Partners - or rather, EM Holdings, the group created to handle the Eidos buyout - also points out the blindingly obvious, namely that SCi's all-stock offer innately carries more risks than its cash offer, despite being worth more on paper.

"EM Holdings' cash offer has no share price or integration risks and offers Eidos shareholders 50 pence in cash with absolute certainty," the statement concludes.

It's believed that while SCi plans to significantly restructure Eidos, refreshing many of the company's brands and moving its studios to the successful wholly-owned contractor model used by SCi and Conflict series creator Pivotal Games, Elevation Partners intends to leave the existing management in place.

SCi now has over 25 per cent support for its bid from Eidos' shareholders, enough to put a serious dent in Elevation's ambitions - which almost certainly explains why the gloves have come off with the issuing of such a strongly worded statement.

Although senior representatives of SCi and Eidos met earlier this week in London, no resolution from that meeting has yet been forthcoming, and the last official advice from Eidos was a recommendation of the Elevation bid - issued hours before SCi confirmed details of its rival offer.

Author
Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.