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Setback for Empire takeover as bidder withdraws

British publisher Empire Interactive plc has announced a major setback to its takeover plans today, with negotiations being terminated between the firm and a suitor with whom it entered into exclusive discussions a few weeks ago.

Empire had originally announced that it had narrowed down the field of candidates in the running to buy the company - which has a small but relatively successful portfolio of casual game products including the Ford Racing franchise - to a single suitor back in late April.

At the time, the firm noted that its focus on the acquisition process was holding up the signing of a number of contracts, which was having a negative impact on the company's financial situation - a factor which makes the end of the discussions rather more painful for Empire.

However, the company claims that it is continuing in discussions with a number of other parties, which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the firm - so acquisition clearly remains high on the company's list of priorities.

At the time of the late April announcement, it was widely speculated that the suitor in question was SCi, which had just announced that it had accumulated a multi-million pound "warchest" to fund acquisitions in the casual games sector.

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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.

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