Codemasters set for IPO that values racing firm at $371m

Codemasters set for IPO that values racing firm at $371m

UK games development veteran Codemasters has officially announced its flotation on the London Aim market.

The Warwickshire-based game maker has been valued at $371m, and wants to raise $20m to bolster its mobile business.

That $371m figure is considerably higher than the $133m valuation that the racing specialist was reportedly targeting when news of the IPO leaked in December 2017.

Codemasters corporate overlords and majority shareholders, Indian media giant Reliance Big Entertainment, is expecting to earn $212m from the IPO, while the racing studio's big wigs are going to be receiving a cool $13m.

"We believe that racing games will continue to be a strong market segment, and our admission to Aim will provide us with the opportunity to further build on our expertise and capabilities in creating premium quality racing games,” CEO Frank Sagnier (pictured) said of the IPO.

Codemasters was founded back in 1986 and is one of the UK's oldest games developers. The firm - best known for its racing games like Dirt and Grid - employs 500 staff across three sites in the UK. Additionally it has a support studio in Malaysia.

This isn't the first time that Codemasters has set its sights on an IPO; the firm had plans to go public almost a decade ago. This would likely have been disastrous for the company: it went on expand beyond its core racing expertise with some pretty disastrous results. In 2015 the studio closed its non-racing operations.

That IPO was called off due to Codemasters' debt.

This is less of a concern for the racing firm now. Companies House info shows that Codemasters saw a loss of just under $13m for the 2017 fiscal year in spite of rising revenue. This is due to money owed to Reliance, something that the firm believes the IPO will solve.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about 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 joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.