What you need to know
- Take-Two Interactive was looking to acquire U.K publisher Codemasters for $973 million.
- Now, Electronic Arts has reached an agreement to acquire Codemasters for $1.2 billion.
- The deal is expected to close sometime in early 2021.
Earlier this year, Take-Two Interactive announced it was leading the acquisition process for Codemasters, a U.K-based publisher and developer known for racing titles like the DiRT franchise. The terms of the agreement would've have Take-Two Interactive acquiring Codemasters for $973 million.
Now a new player, Electronic Arts (EA), has entered. EA announced that has reached an agreement to acquiring Codemasters for a price of $1.2 billion, at a rate of $7.98 per share. This is well above the price offered by Take-Two Interactive and this new deal is expected to close in the first quarter of calendar 2021.
EA believes that Codemasters is a good fit and that the combination will increase the success of both Codemaster's and EA's racing franchises. Codemasters will also benefit from EA's publishing and analytics teams.
"We believe there is a deeply compelling opportunity in bringing together Codemasters and Electronic Arts to create amazing and innovative new racing games for fans. Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment," stated Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA. "We have admired Codemasters' creative talent and high-quality games for many years. With the full leverage of EA's technology, platform expertise, and global reach, this combination will allow us to grow our existing franchises and deliver more industry-defining racing experiences to a global fan base. We are pleased that both our Boards of Directors are recommending this transaction, and we look forward to welcoming such an exciting and talented team to the Electronic Arts family."
Major publishers are continuing to aggressively expand right now, with Microsoft acquiring ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion, while Take-Two Interactive has bought studios like Ruffian Games, now branded Rockstar Dundee. For a time, AT&T was looking to sell the WB Games division, though this has been put aside at least for now.
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