India's Reliance Entertainment owns just 14.2 per cent of Codemasters today

India's Reliance Entertainment owns just 14.2 per cent of Codemasters today

Update - 28/6/2019: Following the news that Reliance's stake in Codemasters has halved in the last 12 months, the UK racing firm has terminated the appointment of Shibasish Sarkar as a director. 

Sarkar is the Group CEO for the Indian firm's Content, Digital & Gaming divisions. 

Original story - 27/6/2019: Indian entertainment firm Reliance's stake in UK racing firm Codemasters has more-than halved in the last year.

When British development icon did its initial public offering on June 1st, 2018, the Indian firm owned 28.5 per cent of the company. Today that figure stands at just 14.2 per cent, after the firm sold off 14.3 per cent of Codemasters shares on Friday, June 21st.

Reliance sold 60 per cent of its stake in Codemasters in May 2018 back to the company ahead of the racing firm's IPO. But the Indian entertainment giant also signed a "lock-in" agreement, prohibiting them from selling shares for another year. Now that has passed, the firm has been selling its remaining stake in the company.

As a result, Reliance's Anil Dhirajlal Ambani is no longer listed as "a person with significant control" in Codemasters Group Holdings, per a filing with the IUK's Companies House yesterday (Wednesday, June 27th).

Reliance acquired 50 per cent of Codemasters back in April 2010, increasing its stake in the racing firm to 60.41 per cent in June 2013, making it the majority owner.

Earlier in June, Codemasters reported on its results for the 2018/19 financial year - the 12 months ending March 31st, 2019 - showing an 11.9 per cent increase in revenue from £63.6m to £71.2m. Gross profit shot up 16 per cent year-on-year, while gross margin rose three per cent to 84.6 per cent.

As of the end of March 2019, OnRush has been played by more than 2.5m people - something that CEO Frank Sagnier (pictured) told when we sat down with the top exec at GDC this year - following the new IP moving into Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus.

"I am pleased to report on a milestone year in Codemasters' rich history, including admission to AIM in June 2018 and considerable strategic developments made across the Group. Significant progress was made against each of our key strategic objectives, as well as delivering profitability ahead of the expectations set at the time of the IPO. The Group has also put in place many of the building blocks that will underpin our future performance," Sagnier said when presenting its results to shareholders.

"We have continued to grow and engage our loyal consumer base through four game launches whilst also signing key strategic partnerships with leading publishers, platform holders and brands that will help us to expand our audience. We believe this is testament to our expertise in racing and history of creating triple-A games.

"The structural drivers in our industry are here to stay and will propel the future growth of our business. We expect the continuing shift into digital distribution, together with the evolution of the Games as a Service model, the launch of streaming platforms and Next Gen consoles, our partnerships in China on both PC and mobile and the emergence of esports to provide further opportunities for Codemasters going forward. We look forward to continuing to be at the forefront of the evolution of our industry."

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.