The closest the video games industry has ever come to a real David-and-Goliath humdinger, Jane Cavanagh’s Britsoft baby SCi amazingly beat out the might of U2 loudmouth Bono’s cash when it bought fellow UK firm Eidos.
Elevation Partners, run on Bono’s money and headed up by success-hungry John Riccitiello, had secured the backing of Eidos’s management for a takeover.
But SCi’s team of Cavanagh, Bill Ennis and Rob Murphy had a great reputation in the City, which paid off. Ricitiello and Bono were beaten and the deal was closed.
In the couple of years before, Eidos had made some pretty tasty acquisitions of its own – not least the purchase of CentreGold plc, which included US Gold, Core Design (developer of Tomb Raider) and CentreSoft – in 1996. A year before, it had snapped up Domark, giving it publisher status.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
Cavanagh and her team got off to a flying start, with record revenues in its first year. But it didn’t quite go to plan, as a plummeting share-price and stuttering takeover talks eventually saw Cavanagh and her management team depart in 2008.