Games developer Codemasters in gear for £280m float

Warwickshire-based Codemasters, which develops the official range of Formula One games, is targeting a £280m valuation in an initial public offering (IPO).

Codemasters, which was founded by David Darling and his brother Richard in 1986 and is one of the oldest British game studios, is aiming to raise £15m from the sale of new shares.

The group, which originally made games for the Commodore PC and Spectrum console, has around 500 full time employees and also has operations in Birmingham, Runcorn in Cheshire, and an overseas location in Kuala Lumpur, which is an art production facility.

Reliance Big Entertainment, the company’s Indian owner, is reported to be reducing its stake from just over 90% to about 40% by selling part of its shareholding.

Gerhard Florin, who served on the board of Candy Crush-maker King Digital Entertainment, has been drafted in as Codemasters’ new chairman.

Codemasters’ founders sold their remaining stake in 2007 to Balderton Capital, an investor in technology-led companies, while Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank, also took a financial interest in the company.