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Lara Croft shuns Bono
Eidos board recommends against buyout offer from equity firm that counts rocker as partner.
April 7, 2005: 2:25 PM EDT
By Chris Morris, CNN/Money
Lara Croft will get a new look in the upcoming
Lara Croft will get a new look in the upcoming "Tomb Raider: Legend"

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) Lara Croft, it seems, is not impressed by rock stars.

Roughly two weeks after agreeing to a cash takeover offer by Elevation Partners, which counts U2 front man Bono as a partner, the publisher of the Tomb Raider video game franchise has switched directions and endorsed a competing bid.

Eidos' board on Thursday unanimously recommended the company's shareholders accept the bid from SCi Entertainment.

The board originally agreed to accept a 71 million ($136.3 million) cash offer from Elevation on March 22. SCi jumped in later that day with a 76 million ($144 million) counter offer, which would exchange one of its shares for every six shares in Eidos. The SCi bid values each Eidos share at 53.6 pence, while Elevation's bid valued the company at 50 pence a share.

Eidos's board had previously advised shareholders to take no action on either bid, apparently in hopes Elevation would raise its cash offer. The equity firm's offering price, however, has not wavered. That lack of movement was likely one of the key reasons in the decision.

"The Board ... consider that the terms of the SCi Offer are fair and reasonable," Eidos said in a statement. "Accordingly, the Board unanimously recommends to Eidos shareholders that they accept the SCi Offer.

SCi had a significant leg up on Elevation before Thursday's recommendation, with investors holding 41 percent of Eidos' stock already making irrevocable commitments to the SCi bid.

Eidos has been struggling in recent years and has been rumored to be a takeover target for some time. Last year, it acknowledged its chances of surviving as an independent publisher were slim after an internal review.

The company has a strong catalog of games, including the "Hitman," "Thief" and "Deus Ex" franchises, making Eidos a particularly lush acquisition target.

SCi has published several successful games in its history, but it's best known for the controversial "Carmageddon" series.  Top of page

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