The GTA parent had agreed an offer to purchase the veteran racing game firm, valuing it at $980m, but it was later outbid by EA which agreed an increased offer of $1.2 billion. The Codemasters board then withdrew its recommendation for Take-Two’s offer.
On Wednesday Take-Two said that, with the consent of its board of directors, it’s now lapsed its offer to Codemasters.
The company’s action is possible due to a clause which said it could pull its offer should Codemasters not hold a Shareholder Meeting related to the potential acquisition on or before January 12.
Following the first news of EA’s accepted offer in December, Take-Two had said it was considering its options.
On Wednesday the company did not explicitly state that it wouldn’t return with an increased offer for Codemasters, but its statement appeared to suggest it was now considering other acquisition targets.
“Take-Two remains a highly disciplined organization and, with its strong balance sheet, will continue to pursue selectively organic and inorganic opportunities that are designed to enhance the Take-Two’s long-term growth and deliver results to its shareholders,” it said in a statement.
Codemasters is the 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.
EA’s acquisition of Codemasters is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
In a statement published last month, EA – which publishes hugely popular sports games including FIFA and Madden NFL, as well as racing series Need for Speed – said it believed the combination of EA and Codemasters would enable further growth and success for the two companies’ popular racing franchises.
“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,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts.
“Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment.
“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.”