Electronic Arts has reportedly tabled its own bid for Dirt and F1 developer Codemasters, after the British company agreed a purchase offer from Take-Two last month.
Codemasters reached formal agreement with Take-Two on the terms of its sale last month, in a cash and shares offer which values the UK-based racing game firm at around £750m ($980m).
UPDATE: Electronic Arts has confirmed that it’s reached an agreement with the Board of Codemasters.
EA announced that it’s made an offer of 604 pence (approximately US$7.98) per ordinary share of Codemasters, which values the company at US$1.2 billion.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: The two companies had said they anticipated that the acquisition would complete in the first quarter of 2021, subject to shareholder approval.
However, according to Sky News EA has now entered the bidding for Codemasters with its own bid, which it says is likely to be disclosed to the stock market on Monday morning.
The value of EA’s offer is unclear, the report says, although it’s claimed to likely be at a substantial premium to Codemasters’ closing share price on Friday of 534p.
According to Sky, some fund managers who own Codemasters shares have expressed dissatisfaction with the Take-Two deal because of its combination of cash and shares.
It’s not certain whether Take-Two will respond to EA’s offer with its own counterbid, the publication says.
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.
Take-Two is the owner of the 2K and Rockstar labels, as well as its sports brand 2K Sports, under which it publishes NBA 2K and PGA 2K.
In a statement published in November, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said he believed that Codemasters’ racing games line-up would fit well within its own roster of sports games.
Electronic Arts, which publishes its own hugely popular sports games including FIFA and Madden NFL, as well as racing series Need for Speed, would likely see Codemasters as a good fit for its own roster.