Only a big bid could deflect Codemasters from road to IPO

Codemasters will be a publicly quoted company by September 1st unless a major media company or acquisitive games publisher decides to pounce on the last big privately-owned target in the market.

And in a climate of stagnating music and DVD sales and the fallout of the bar-raising Activision/Vivendi deal still being felt, neither can be ruled out. That’s the word from the publisher’s CEO Rod Cousens, who argues the current strength of his firm and the video games sector as a whole will not have been missed by the larger media conglomerates.

The day after the Activision/Vivendi deal went through, I’d say that on quite a few companies’ radar screens we went from being a blip to a beep,” Cousens told MCV.

If I’m a media company, I’m looking at that situation and I’m looking at games. And Codemasters is uniquely placed in terms of its premium. We’re the fastest growing company in the fastest growing entertainment sector. Add to that our strength online and technology such as EGO and, as a privately-owned company, we’re unrivalled.”

The statements come off the back of a hugely successful year for Codemasters in FY 2007, in which it recorded a 37.5 per cent revenue jump, bringing final figures up to 71.5 million – with profits landing at 5.6 million, up from 1.1 million.

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