Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.
Take-Two Interactive Software has made a bid to buy Dirt 5 publisher Codemasters for $973.8 million.
Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two hasn’t completed a deal yet, but it has made an offer, and it confirmed an announcement by the board of directors of United Kingdom-based Codemasters about the bid. It’s another sign of consolidation in the game industry that has seen huge deals this year.
The New York-based Take-Two, which owns labels and studios such as 2K and Rockstar Games, offered $6.40 a share to buy Codemasters, in both cash and stock. The deal is contingent on due diligence, approval by the board, and other approvals.
Take-Two said the combination would bring together two world-class interactive entertainment portfolios which are complementary. Codemasters is strong in the racing genre with titles like F1, Dirt, and Grid. Last year, Codemasters acquired Project Cars and Fast & Furious maker Slightly Mad Studios for $196 million. Take-Two’s strengths are action games, huge open worlds from Rockstar, sports, and strategy games like Civilization.
R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian noted that the offer would involve about $230 million in cash and $700 million in Take-Two stock, with the net offer roughly equivalent to $930 million in cash.
Take-Two has 6,000 employees, including 4,600 in-house developers. Most recently, Take-Two acquired Playdots, the mobile game publisher that created Two Dots, for $200 million in September.
Based in Southam, England, Codemasters has about 750 employees. In an earnings call yesterday, analysts quizzed Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick about the acquisition activity after Microsoft said it would acquire Bethesda owner ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion.
“We have seen an acceleration in M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity,” Zelnick said. “Obviously, Microsoft is acquiring Bethesda, which is a significant transaction. You’re going to continue to see increased M&A activity, just because of the heat around the category and capital that is being deployed by big companies. We have almost $2.4 billion in cash. We have no debt. We are anxious to build our business aggressively.”
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.