UPDATE: It’s official, EA will buy Codemasters early next year and will pay around $200 million more than what Take-Two offered in November.
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) announced that it has reached an agreement with the Board of Codemasters for the recommended acquisition of Codemasters, the UK-based game developer and publisher. In the transaction, Codemasters’ shareholders will be entitled to receive 604 pence (approximately US$7.98*) in cash for each ordinary share of Codemasters with an implied enterprise value of US$1.2 billion*. The acquisition is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of calendar 2021.
Original story below…
Sky News are reporting that EA have put a surprise bid in for Codemasters which will go up against the offer that Take-Two made last month. The size of the offer from EA is expected to be revealed tomorrow but it is said to offer a “substantial premium to Codemasters’ closing share price on Friday of 534p.” EA will have a lot more money compared to Take-Two to offer so it’s expected higher than Take-Two’s offer, and Take-Two may have troubled topping it.
Take-Two had previously confirmed that the deal is likely to be completed at some point in the first quarter of 2021, and that the purchase will cost Take-Two £726 million/$956 million. The deal has been approved by the boards of directors from both Take-Two and Codemasters.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said:
“We are exceedingly pleased to announce this recommended transaction with the Board of Codemasters. Codemasters has a renowned history of creating some of our industry’s most beloved and commercially successful racing franchises, and we believe that their offerings will be highly complementary to our sports portfolio and enhance further our organization’s long-term growth. Moreover, we look forward to welcoming Codemasters’ senior management and development teams into our Take-Two family, and sharing in our vision to deliver the highest quality entertainment experiences and aim to be the most innovative, creative and efficient company in our industry.”
The response was also positive from Codemasters, with Chairman Gerhard Florin saying:
“With a leading position in sports gaming, the Board of Codemasters firmly believes the Company will benefit from Take-Two’s broad capabilities which will help propel the long term success of Codemasters. In recommending this Offer to shareholders, the Board of Codemasters believes it is in the best interests of all stakeholders in the Company.”
We shall have to wait and see if Codemasters have a change of heart and follow the money.