Electronic Arts acquires $ 1.2 billion worth of Codemasters

Electronic Arts announced it has reached an agreement to purchase Codemasters worth $ 1.2 billion (approximately Rs.8,800 billion), surpassing a previous agreement between the UK company and rival Take-Two Interactive.

The shares of Codemasters listed in London rose 18.7 percent to £ 6.37 (approx. Rs. 600) by 8:45 GMT (2:15 pm IST) above the £ 6.04 (approx. Rs. 580) per share that EA had offered to the company’s shareholders.

Codemasters from Great Britain, known for its Formula 1 games for Playstation 4, saw the new offer as superior to Take-Two’s cash-and-stock buyout offer of £ 4.85 (approximately Rs. 470. ) Per share.

Take-Two said it was considering its position.

California-based EA, along with rivals Activision Blizzard and Take-Two, have benefited from a surge in US video game sales caused by the trend for people to spend more time indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, that trend could reverse in the next year as countries start vaccinating people against COVID-19.

“Taking full advantage of EA’s technology, platform expertise and global reach, this combination enables us to expand our existing franchises and deliver more industry-defining racing experiences,” said Andrew Wilson, EA chief executive officer.

EA’s offer represents a premium of 13.1 percent over the last closing price of the company’s shares and expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of the 2021 calendar.

“We believe Codemasters is an attractive asset with many qualities a consolidator could be looking for … It also has a strategic relationship with Chinese operator NetEase and provides a direct route into the lucrative Chinese market,” said Citi analysts .

EA, makers of The Sims, Need for Speed ​​and FIFA, expects the deal to increase net bookings and underlying profitability.

UBS Investment Bank is acting as financial advisor to Electronic Arts while Jefferies is the financial advisor to Codemasters.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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