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The entire issued share capital of Codemasters is now owned by Codex Games Limited, a subsidiary of EA.
Trading in Codemasters shares was suspended on AIM, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, this morning, and existing shareholder will receive settlement (604 pence per Scheme Share held) within 14 days. Now that the sale has been completed, each of Codemasters’ Non-Executive Directors has stepped down from the Codemasters Board with immediate effect.
EA’s acquisition of Codemasters values the company at approximately $1.2 billion.
In a statement, the publisher said the combination of Electronic Arts and Codemasters marks “an exciting new era in racing game entertainment”.
“This is the beginning of an exciting new era for racing games and content as we bring together the talented teams at Electronic Arts and Codemasters,” said CEO Andrew Wilson in a statement.
“Racing fandom continues to grow worldwide, and the franchises in our combined portfolio will enable us to create innovative new experiences and bring more players into the excitement of cars and motorsport. Our teams will be a global powerhouse in racing entertainment, with amazing games for players on every platform, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier added: “Today is a landmark in Codemasters’ history, and an exciting day for our employees and players.
“The partnership with EA will enable our teams to take our highly-acclaimed franchises to new heights and reach a huge global audience through their player network. Together we can redefine the landscape of racing games to create even more compelling experiences for racing fans around the world.”
Codemasters is the publisher of racing games including Dirt, F1, Grid and OnRush. The company 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.
Discussing the strategic rationale of the potential Codemasters acquisition as part of its third-quarter earnings results earlier this month, EA said the deal would create “a global leader in racing entertainment” and “enable EA to release new racing experiences annually”.
EA is the home of the Need for Speed and Burnout franchises, but the Codemasters buyout has added a number of high-profile racing brands to its stable.
The publisher’s Need for Speed series has stuck to a biennial release schedule for much of the past decade. Last year it handed the franchise back to UK-based Criterion Games and announced a restructure of Sweden’s Ghost Games, which has developed the last four entries in the racing series.
It’s worth noting that in recent years Codemasters has released its own annual racing title, even not counting for its yearly F1 instalments.