Troubled computer games publisher SCi Entertainment yesterday confirmed it was in talks over a possible sale of the business.

The Lara Croft Tomb Raider business confirmed it had entered "extremely preliminary" sale discussions just two months after the company was hit by a profits warning.

Shares in SCi soared 15 per cent - valuing the business at around £300 million - as bid rumours swept the market.

Companies touted as potential buyers of the firm, which issued a profits warning in July, include US gaming giant Electronic Arts and entertainment group Warner Brothers, already holder of a 10 per cent stake in SCi.

The London-based company added there was no certainty of an offer and "no proposal has been received at this time".

The UK smallcap computer games maker said it would make a further announcement in due course.

The group's largest shareholder is entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz, who had a holding of 15.5 per cent as of August 1.

SCi was valued at £450 million by the market during mid-July, but its shares have plummeted since the group revealed pricing pressures caused by the delayed launch of Sony's PlayStation 3.

The company warned the launch of the new console had sent the price of PS2 games spiralling downwards, forcing the firm into a £14 million provision. Sony launched the PS3 in North America in December and in Europe in March, both later than expected.

SCi also said it may take longer than expected to build up a profitable base of Play-Station owners and could write off up to £4 million from the carrying value of its titles in development.

The company, which posted underlying earnings of £28.8 million last year, is also the publisher of the Hitman games series, currently being made into a film.

SCi, founded in 1988, is one of the longest established companies in the computer games industry. It listed in 1999 and bought rival Eidos in May 2005.

Eidos had taken over Lara Croft when it acquired Birmingham-based CentreGold.

Meanwhile, US information technologies services giant Computer Sciences Corporation - which has a major operation in Solihull employing several hundred people - yesterday said it had landed a contract from the US Air Force Space Command that could be worth up to $820 million (£407.9 million).

The contract has a 10-month base period with nine one-year options. If all the options are exercised, Computer Sciences will receive the full amount.

Computer Sciences will provide technical services for the Air Force's Eastern Range at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. The services will be provided by Computer Sciences Raytheon, a joint venture between Computer Sciences applied technology division and Raytheon Technical Services.

A few weeks ago Computer Sciences Corporation signed an information technology services contract with Network Rail, owner and operator of the UK's railway infrastructure.

The agreement, which has a five-year base period and one three-year option, coincided with a significant infrastructure investment by Network Rail, which the company said was essential to provide the UK with a safe, reliable and efficient railway.

Shares closed at 384p up 44.5p.