Codemasters confirms it’s in talks with Take-Two over a possible sale
Dirt and F1 publisher signals it intends to accept an offer, should it be formally submitted
Dirt and F1 publisher Codemasters has confirmed it’s in discussions with Take-Two regarding a possible offer for the company.
In an internal statement issued on Friday, seen by VGC, the company said that the Rockstar and 2K parent had made a non-binding proposal to acquire the entire share capital of Codemasters.
The possible offer is conditional on, amongst other things, the completion of due diligence. However, Codemasters said that should Take-Two make its bid official, its board intended to unanimously recommend that shareholders accept the offer.
It’s a statement sent to VGC, Take-Two said it “believes that the combination of Take-Two and Codemasters would bring together two world-class interactive entertainment portfolios, with a highly complementary fit between 2K and Codemasters in the racing genre.”
It added: “Take-Two believes that it can bring benefits to Codemasters performance by leveraging Take-Two global distribution and 2K’s core operating expertise in publishing, including, live operations, analytics, product development, and brand and performance marketing.”
Codemasters is the UK-based publisher of racing games including Dirt, F1, Grid and OnRush.
The company has also recently secured the rights to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and in 2019 it acquired Slightly Mad, the developer of the Project Cars series and Fast & Furious Crossroads.
Take-Two is the owner of the 2K and Rockstar labels, as well as its sports brand 2K Sports, under which it publishes NBA 2K and PGA 2K.
The publisher tends to afford autonomy to its labels, the most recent example of which is Private Division, an indie-focussed label launched in 2017 which has offices around the world and publishes its own games.
Last year Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick outlined the company’s growth strategy and said he would look to capitalise on “extraordinary tailwinds” in the video games market, including the upcoming next-gen console launches.
“This industry is the most rapidly growing industry in entertainment and that’s not going to change for the next 10, 20 or 25 years,” he said. “With that backdrop, can we fail to execute? Of course we can, so what are we doing about it?”
He added: “Right now, we are increasing our investment in development, we are increasing our R&D investment. We do expect to enhance our release schedule – we launched Private Division, we bought Social Point, and I think you can expect opportunities that are both driven organically and inorganically.”