US games giant gatecrashes Codemasters deal with £945m bid


The £725m deal to sell Leamington Spa-based computer game maker Codemasters has been gatecrashed by US giant Electronic Arts (EA).

EA has sensationally submitted a last-minute £945m bid that would top the offer agreed in November with Take-Two Interactive Software, which makes the Red Dead game franchise.

Codemasters revealed the bidding war in a trading update to the London Stock Exchange this morning (December 14). It is unclear what the level of EA’s bid is at present.

Codemasters’ shares ended the day at 534p each. Last week it revealed it had doubled its profits and seen a large hike in profits for the six months to September 30. The firm turned over £80.5m during the period – up from £39.8m last year, while operating profits were up from £12m in 2019 to £20.3m this time around.

EA makes some of the biggest titles in the gaming industry, including the FIFA football series.

Gerhard Florin, chairman of Codemasters, said: “Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category. The Board of Codemasters firmly believes the company would benefit from EA’s knowledge, resources and extensive global scale – both overall and specifically within the racing sector. We feel this union would provide an exciting and prosperous future for Codemasters, allowing our teams to create, launch and service bigger and better games to an extremely passionate audience.”

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