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Take-Two confirms it is buying F1 and Dirt publisher, Codemasters

Grand Theft Auto giant Take-Two has said it will be buying British racing company Codemasters.

The news was confirmed in a note to investors, which says that the deal values Codemasters at a cool £759 million (US$994 million). Think about how many Freddo bars you could buy with that cash money!* The deal is set to close in the first quarter of 2021.

"We are exceedingly pleased to announce this recommended transaction with the board of Codemasters," said Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick.

"Codemasters has a renowned history of creating some of our industry's most beloved and commercially successful racing franchises, and we believe that their offerings will be highly complementary to our sports portfolio and enhance further our organization's long-term growth.

"Moreover, we look forward to welcoming Codemasters' senior management and development teams into our Take-Two family, and sharing in our vision to deliver the highest quality entertainment experiences and aim to be the most innovative, creative and efficient company in our industry."

Codemasters chair Gerhard Florin added: "With a leading position in sports gaming, the board of Codemasters firmly believes the company will benefit from Take-Two's broad capabilities which will help propel the long term success of Codemasters. In recommending this Offer to shareholders, the board of Codemasters believes it is in the best interests of all stakeholders in the company."

News that Take-Two and Codemasters were in discussions about a potential sale broke last week. This is the second UK acquisition that Take-Two has made in recent months after the company's Rockstar label snapped up Ruffian Games in October. That studio is now Rockstar Dundee.

Codemasters' most recent release is rally title Dirt 5, which launched on November 5. Not only did the game come to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, it is also set to come to the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S machines. In a recent video, the company described the PS5's DualSense controller as "incredible."

*At the 25p price that UK supermarket Sainsbury's currently has for Freddo Bars, Codemasters is worth exactly 3,036,000,000 Freddo Bars

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Alex Calvin avatar

Alex Calvin


Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist and writer covering the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he launched PC games b2b site PCGamesInsider.biz for Steel Media and has written for the likes of GI.biz, Eurogamer, Kotaku UK, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK. He can be found on Twitter @gamesbizuk.