Publisher Take-Two tried to acquire developer Codemasters last year with an impressive $980m bid, but found their plans thwarted when EA outbid them for and even more incredible $1.2 billion. It seems Take-Two has little interest in topping EA’s offer, because today they officially pulled their bid to buy Codemasters, per a report from Gamesindustry.biz.
This doesn’t come as too much of a shock, though Take-Two did state they would continue to weigh their options after EA placed their bid for Codemasters back in December. Codemasters is a hot commodity at the moment, with popular racing franchises such as Dirt and F1 continuing to sell well. Take-Two did not rule out returning with a higher offer to counter EA, yet the final portion of their statement stated the publisher will “continue to pursue selectively organic and inorganic opportunities that are designed to enhance the company’s long-term growth and deliver results to its shareholders.” In short: Take-Two is taking their money elsewhere.
For those a little confused by all this, allow me to break it down into simpler terms. No one has “officially” purchased Codemasters yet, because the company was accepting multiple offers. Since EA came in with a stronger offer than Take-Two’s, Codemasters has decided to no longer entertain Take-Two’s bid, yet it still remained on the table. Today Take-Two could legally withdraw their offer from consideration since Codemasters’ Board of Directors did not meet to discuss the acquisition (they had until January 12th to do so). So long as no counter-offer is made by anyone else, EA will fully acquire Codemasters when the board does convene to agree to their bid. That means EA will likely be the new home for Codemasters, assuming no one else suddenly develops interest (you never know these days).