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EA’s $1.2BN Acquisition Of Codemasters Unanimously Approved By Shareholders

On Wednesday, Codemasters’ shareholders voted unanimously to approve the acquisition of the company by Electronic Arts during a general meeting. The British video game developer and publisher, know for the Formula One, Dirt and TOCA series, will become a subsidiary of EA after the $1.2 billion deal receives authorization from the court on February 16.

A regulatory notice released to investor stated that 63 of Codemasters’ 76 shareholders voted in favor of the acquisition. The 63 shareholders represent 99% of the company’s shares, making the decision unanimous. The notice also confirms that the acquisition has received approval from regulators in Germany and Austria.

Last month, Codemasters executive director Ian Bell, CEO Frank Sagnier and CFO Rashi Varachia voted in favor of the deal, which is expected to be finalized by the end of the current quarter. The acquisition will transfer ownership of Codemasters to Codex Games, a subsidiary established by EA on December 9.

In December, EA outbid Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive, which had made an offer to buy Codemasters for $870 million. Take-Two formally withdrew its bid last month. During an earnings’ call last night, EA CEO Andrew Wilson and CFO Blake Jorgensen described the acquisition as “one of the best growth opportunities there is.”

In November 2019, Codemasters acquired Slightly Mad Studios, the developers of Project CARS for an estimated $30 million. The acquisition added 700 employees to Codemasters’ staff. Last June, the studio was awarded an exclusive five-year license to the World Rally Championship series. The first game is expected to be released by the studio in 2024.

Last year, Codemasters released F1 2020, the official video game of the 2020 Formula 1 and Formula 2 Championships on Microsoft Windows, PS4, Xbox One and, for the first time, Stadia, on July 10. The title is the twelfth installment in the franchise. The studio also released Dirt 5, the fourteenth game in the Colin McRae Rally series and the eighth game with the Dirt title, for Microsoft Windows, PS4 and Xbox One on November 6, 2020.

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