Reliance Big acquires 50pc stake in UK's Codemasters | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Reliance Big acquires 50pc stake in UK's Codemasters

delhi Updated: Apr 05, 2010 21:37 IST

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The Anil Ambani Group company Reliance Big Entertainment has said it will acquire 50 per cent stake in the England-based gaming firm Codemasters, possibly for up to $150 million.

Reliance Big Entertainment has agreed to acquire 50 per cent shareholding in Codemasters, the company said in a statement. The company, however, did not disclose the amount involved in the deal.

Sources, however, said Codemasters is valued at $200-300 million, pegging the deal size at $100-150 million.

When contacted Zapak chief executive officer Rohit Sharma told PTI, "the deal will double Zapak's annual revenue." But he declined to share Zapak's current revenue.

Codemasters has revenue of over $150 million and holds major franchises in cricket and racing games, among others. The remaining 50 per cent stake is with European venture capital firm Balderton Capital, which had first invested in Codemasters in 2005.

Reliance Big's gaming division Zapak Digital Entertainment will oversee the said investment in Codemasters, the statement added.

"We are excited to partner with Codemasters...its strong technology, development and distribution presence will complement our global gaming portfolio," Sharma said.

Zapak's strength in mobile gaming will enhance Codemasters' ability to fully leverage its attractive franchises such as its racing and cricket games, he added.

"The opportunities arising from this partnership are truly exciting. Reliance and Zapak have immense resources and will help us realise the full potential of our game coding and online excellence and especially in the world's fastest growing markets," Codemasters chief executive Rod Cousens said.

The Warwickshire-headquartered Codemasters has presence in Germany, France, Spain, and the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) markets. The company currently employs over 450 people across the world.

In the US, Codemasters has a tie-up with Warner Brothers which distributes the England-based firm's products in the North American nations.

With over 100 gaming cafes under the brand--Zapak GamePlex--Zapak is one of the largest chains of online gaming in the country. It also has over 5,000 retail outlets for its licensing and merchandising arm.

Zapak's global publishing and online entertainment developing division-- Jump Games-- has distribution networks in 40 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America.