Veteran Game Maker Codemasters Set For US Acquisition

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Warwickshire-based Codemasters in talks for £739m sale to US-based videogame giant Take-Two, parent of Rockstar Games and 2K

Long-time British videogame maker Codemasters has confirmed it is in talks to be acquired by US gaming giant Take-Two.

The sale would put the company under the same roof as two other major Take-Two-owned videogame developers, Rockstar Games and 2K.

Codemasters, based in Southam, Warwickshire, is best known for racing games such as the Dirt Rally and Formula 1 licenses.

It has a history stretching back to the Spectruma and Commodore era of the 1980s, with games such as the Dizzy series.

A postage stamp commemorating the 1980s Codemasters game Dizzy.

Gaming history

In the 1990s it was known for the successful Micro Machines franchise and has also published British-made cricket and rugby games.

The company released its latest game, Dirt 5, on Friday.

It said it has received a non-binding proposal from Take-Two that values the company at £739m.

While the offer has not yet been finalised, if the bid is made official the company said it plans to recommend it to its shareholders.

The offer is worth £1.20 in cash and £3.65 in Take-Two shares for each Codemasters share.

Codemasters and Take-Two said they were confirming the talks after media reports emerged around a possible sale.

‘Complementary fit’

“Take-Two believes that the combination of Take-Two and Codemasters would bring together two world-class interactive entertainment portfolios, with a highly complementary fit between 2K and Codemasters in the racing genre,” Take-Two said in a statement.

Take-Two-owned 2K makes a number of sports games, including the NBA 2K and WWE 2K series.

Other well-known 2K games include BioShock, Borderlands and Civilisation, while Rockstar is known for the Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne series of games.

Rockstar itself developed from a British game development studio, BMG Interactive, and still includes UK-based facilities such as Rockstar North, now based in Edinburgh, which was founded in Dundee in 1987.

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