Reliance Big acquires 50 per cent in UK gamer Codemasters

Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd (RBEL), a part of Anil Ambani controlled Reliance ADA group, said Monday they had picked up a 50 per cent stake in UK computer games company, Codemasters, for an undisclosed sum.

Venture capital firm Balderton Capital and global investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs acquired Codemasters in 2005 and invested approximately $100 million in restructuring the company.

RBEL has acquired the 50 per cent stake by taking over the company's debt from Goldman Sachs with Balderton Capital still holding its 50 per cent stake.

Although RBEL has not disclosed the financial terms of its investment, judging by past acquisitions in the gaming sector, like the £84 million acquisition of Eidos by Square Enix of Japan and the £275 million acquisition of Playfish by Electronic Arts of the US, the value of the Codemasters acquisition would be in the region of $150-$200 million, according to market analysts.

Warwickshire-based Codemasters, with revenues of over $150 million, has major franchises in cricket games such as The Ashes, racing games, Formula1, Dirt2 and Race Driver Grid, performance games, Dance Factory and military simulations game, Operation Flashpoint2.

Founded in 1986 by brothers, Richard and David Darling, Codemasters is best known for its online game, The Lord of the Rings.