Codemasters bosses eye £32m takeover windfall

Business

Bosses at video game developer Codemasters are eyeing a £32million windfall after a takeover approach from a US rival.

The company is in talks with Take-Two Interactive, which is behind the popular Grand Theft Auto franchise, about a possible £740million deal that values Codemasters at 485p a share.

Codemasters chief executive Frank Sagnier would make £15.7million if the takeover goes ahead.

Game on: Video game developer Codemasters is in talks with Take-Two Interactive, which is behind the popular Grand Theft Auto franchise, about a possible £740m deal

Sagnier, who owns 3.25m shares, has headed Codemasters since 2016 and took it onto AIM in June 2018.

Finance boss Rashid Varachia owns 1.47m shares and would make £7.1million from the deal.

Ian Bell, the head of Slightly Mad Studios, which Codemasters bought last year, would make £9.2million from his 1.9m shares.

A takeover by Take-Two would be the latest in a series of deals in the industry – which has boomed this year after many turned to gaming during lockdown.

Codemasters, whose shares rose 1.7 per cent, has recommended investors back the Take-Two deal if it receives a firm offer by early December.