Codemasters shareholders voted to approve the company’s sale to Electronic Arts at general and court meetings on Wednesday.
63 of the 76 shareholders who voted remotely at the court meeting did so in favour of approving the deal, which represents nearly 99% of shares held. The same percentage was reflected at the general meeting.
The Codemasters board had previously unanimously recommended that the company’s shareholders vote in favour of EA’s acquisition at the meeting.
The results mean that EA’s acquisition of Codemasters has now received the majority of approval required. The next step is for the deal to be legally sanctioned during a court hearing on February 16, in addition to competition law approvals.
Codemasters shares will then be suspended on February 18 and will be cancelled from admission to trading on AIM, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, on February 19.
EA’s acquisition of Codemasters, which values the company at approximately $1.2 billion, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
Codemasters is the publisher of racing games including Dirt, F1, Grid and OnRush. The company 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.
Rockstar owner Take-Two also tabled an offer to purchase Codemasters, which was originally accepted before EA came in with a higher bid that was deemed to be more favourable.
Discussing the strategic rationale of the potential Codemasters acquisition as part of its third-quarter earnings results on Tuesday, EA said the deal would create “a global leader in racing entertainment” and “enable EA to release new racing experiences annually”.
EA is the home of the Need for Speed and Burnout franchises, but the Codemasters buyout would add a number of high-profile racing brands to its stable.
The publisher’s Need for Speed series has stuck to a biennial release schedule for much of the past decade. Last year it handed the franchise back to UK-based Criterion Games and announced a restructure of Sweden’s Ghost Games, which has developed the last four entries in the racing series.
It’s worth noting that in recent years Codemasters has released its own annual racing title, even not counting for its yearly F1 instalments.
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