Shares in computer games maker Eidos plunged to a record low yesterday as concerns over its finances overshadowed the prospect of a £75.3 million takeover.
Eidos fell £29 million into the red during the final six months of last year and said it needed a formal takeover offer to be made by March 25 to satisfy the terms of a new £23 million loan.
Hopes of a second-half turnaround were damaged by the news that new releases in the top-selling Hitman and Tomb Raider series were being held back until 2006.
Eidos saw its cash reserves fall from £58.1 million to £11.8 million at the end of last year and it has persuaded the Royal Bank of Scotland to provide £23 million of shortterm funds, although this was linked to a formal offer for the company being forthcoming.
An indicative proposal of 53p per share was received from an unnamed party earlier this month but hinged on "one principal condition".
Reports have said that Europe's third-largest video games publisher, France's Ubisoft, was interested in buying Eidos, which acquired the Tomb Raider rights when it took over one-time Birmingham firm CentreGold.