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EQT eyes £2.2bn deal for London-listed Keywords Studios

European private equity major EQT is in advanced talks with video game services company Keywords Studios over a potential acquisition of the company for £2.2bn, a deal Keywords has indicated it would be “minded’ to accept, according to a report by City AM.

EQT’s potential offer of £25.50 per share for the Dublin-based firm, which is listed on the AIM in London, represents a premium of around 73% to company’s stock price at the close of trading on Friday.

In a statement, Keywords revealed that its had previously received four unsolicited proposals from EQT in recent months, all of which its board rejected, but with the latest bid representing a “significant increase” from the Swedish private investment firm’s initial proposal, the board “would be minded to recommend” a firm offer to shareholders.

Under UK takeover rules, EQT now has until 17:00 on 15 June to either make a firm offer for Keywords or walk away from the proposed acquisition.

Keywords, a provider of outsourcing services to the video games and film industries, has seen its shares weighed down in recent times by fears over AI’s threat to the sector, with its stock closing 55% down on its September 2021 peak on Friday at £14.70.

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