VC firm buys out Codemasters

The company founders' remaining stake in the UK developer is bought out by Balderton Capital; Goldman Sachs invests 50 million pounds.


Jim, David, and Richard Darling, the founding members of Codemasters, the largest independent video game developer and publisher in Europe, have sold off their remaining stakes in the company for an undisclosed sum. Venture firm Balderton Capital announced it now owns--"together with management and other investors"--100 percent of the company's equity. Balderton first bought a 40 percent stake in Codemasters in 2005, and then acquired a further 30 percent in 2006.

Balderton Capital, which was previously known as Benchmark Capital Europe, has invested in companies including Bebo, Betfair, MySQL, and Setanta Sports. Top investment bank Goldman Sachs has also invested 50 million pounds (approximately $96 million) to support the company "as it realises its ambitions to be a global player, readying itself for the digital age."

Codemasters was founded in 1986 by brothers David and Richard Darling and their father Jim. The company is based in Warwickshire in the UK. Some of Codemasters' top brands are the Colin McRae rally games, Brian Lara Cricket, TOCA, and Sensible Soccer. Recently the company rebranded and started using a new corporate logo, and hired three new executives for its US arm.

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