Shares in Infogrames have risen sharply today, on the back of rumours that the company may be an acquisition target for Japanese platform holder turned publisher Sega whose COO confirmed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that it is in talks to buy various European and US publishers.
At one point, shares in the company had climbed by 23 per cent, although by late afternoon the day-on-day climb was closer to 16 per cent. Trading in Infogrames had been strong over the past few days anyway, thanks to positive news over a number of its new products, but rumours of financial trouble continue to dog the company over rising debts and possible product slippages.
On Tuesday, Sega COO Tetsu Kamaya told the Wall Street Journal Europe that the company was definitely in talks to buy US and European software houses, as part of an overall effort to compete more strongly in markets outside of its native Japan. Although he did not name any specific companies which are being targeted, he did make it clear that European companies are on the list.
If a studio has something that Sega does not have, then we’ll do an acquisition, he told the financial newspaper. However, some analysts are sceptical about the possibility of Infogrames being on the menu for Sega. The French company, which itself pursued an aggressive acquisitions policy in recent years, is viewed by some as being too large a target for Sega, which recently reinvented itself as a third-party publisher following the failure of its Dreamcast platform.
I think Sega may settle for smaller acquisitions, one analyst told news agency Reuters. However, market speculation over the potential buyout continues unabated.