Take-Two have officially dropped their offer to buy Codemasters which they originally had confirmed 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 had been approved by the boards of directors from both Take-Two and Codemasters.
However, a few weeks later in December, EA offered a counterbid with around a third more cash on the table. That deal was also accepted by the board of Codemasters leaving Take-Two in limbo. Here’s the rather technical statement from Take-Two.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) today announced that following the December 14, 2020 announcement by the Board of Codemasters that it had withdrawn its recommendation of the Company’s offer to acquire Codemasters Group Holdings PLC, Take-Two has, with the consent of the Panel, lapsed its offer. As noted in the Scheme Document (the “Scheme Document”) dated November 30, 2020, Take-Two was entitled to lapse the offer if the Court Meeting and General Meeting were not held on or before the 22nd day after the expected date of such Meetings set out in the Scheme Document. The expected date of such Codemasters’ Shareholder Meetings set out in the Scheme Document was December 21, 2020, and the 22nd day after such date was January 12, 2021. Codemasters’ Shareholder Meetings were not held on or before January 12, 2021 and Take-Two has not extended this date. As a result, the Co-operation Agreement has automatically terminated in accordance with its terms.
So that’s it, Codemasters are going to join EA later this year, meaning the F1 license is back with EA.
Shares in Codemasters jumped almost 20% following the announcement of the EA deal and a number of huge investment firms including Morgan Stanley have been snapping up shares, no doubt due to Codemaster publishing revenue and pre-tax profits for the first six months of this year that were more than double than that of last year.
EA will be conducted a year long review to see how they and Codemasters ‘can work most effectively and efficiently together’. They say that this will not lead to a ‘material’ numbers of redundancies but will not commit to any firm number of lay offs until the process is completed.