US games company Electronic Arts (EA) is set to acquire British firm Codemasters after making an offer of £945m. The deal would bring together EA’s range of popular sports titles, including the Fifa series, with Codemasters’ racing games such as F1 and the DiRT rally franchise.
EA’s offer torpedoed a proposed £759m deal between Codemasters and Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two.
Shares in Codemasters jumped by 20 per cent on Monday to well above the price offered by EA, indicating that investors think a bidding war may break out.
EA’s chief executive, Andrew Wilson, said: “We believe there is a deeply compelling opportunity in bringing together Codemasters and EA to create amazing and innovative new racing games for fans.
“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.”
The chairman of Codemasters, Gerhard Florin, said: “Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category.
“The board of Codemasters firmly believes the company would benefit from EA’s knowledge, resources and extensive global scale – both overall and specifically within the racing sector.
“We feel this union would provide an exciting and prosperous future for Codemasters, allowing our teams to create, launch and service bigger and better games to an extremely passionate audience.”