It seems EA has set their sites on creating an European Development group. First, they announced they were buying 90% of DICE, but that didnt work out. Then they started purchasing shares of Ubisoft, in what some have termed as an unwanted partnership. Now, they have waived all requirements for the percentage of stock they must buy in DICE and are simply focusing on purchasing as many shares as possible.
I had really hoped the little guy would hold out, but it seems EA is too big and powerful and will stop at nothing to get what they want. I can only hope it doesnt ruin our beloved Battlefield series.
Read More for the full Press Release regarding this situation. EA Waives a Condition on Its Offer for Shares of Digital Illusions
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. & STOCKHOLM, Sweden –Jan. 14, 2005– Electronic Arts Holding AB (“EA”) (Nasdaq:ERTS – News) today declared its decision to waive one of the conditions in its offer to the shareholders of Digital Illusions CE AB (publ) (“DICE”).
The offer had previously been conditioned upon EA becoming the owner of more than 50 percent of the total number of shares representing more than 50 percent of the capital and votes in DICE after dilution upon exercise of employee warrants outstanding under the option program launched in 2002. Even though the extended acceptance period has not yet expired and the calculation of the outcome of the offer has not yet been made, EA has decided to waive the above-mentioned condition for the offer.
This means that EA will acquire all the shares tendered in the offer, regardless of whether EA reaches the 50 percent threshold (assuming that the acquisition is not hindered or rendered more difficult by circumstances beyond EAs control).
The acceptance period will end on January 20, 2005, and EA does not intend to extend it any further. Payment to shareholders that have tendered, or will tender their shares before the acceptance period expires, is expected to be distributed beginning on or about January 27, 2005.
The other terms and conditions of the offer remain unchanged.
EA reserves the right to acquire additional shares of DICE in the market.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the worlds leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, EA posted revenues of USD 2.96 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004. The company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers and the Internet. In 2003, EA had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA markets its products under three brand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA GAMES(TM) and EA SPORTS BIG(TM).
For more information, visit EAs homepage and online game site at http://www.ea.com.
About Digital Illusions
Founded in 1992, Digital Illusions is an award-winning developer of interactive entertainment based in Stockholm, Sweden, with offices in New York and London, Ontario Canada. The company has more than 200 employees and develops games in basically all existing platforms. Recent titles include Battlefield 1942 (elected Game of The Year) and Battlefield Vietnam for Electronic Arts, RalliSport Challenge 1 & 2 for the Microsoft Xbox. Digital Illusions Series A share is listed on Nya Marknaden (an unofficial marketplace where smaller companies shares can be traded in the Stockholm Stock Exchanges trading system, SAXESS) under the symbol DICE A.
For more information, visit Digital Illusions homepage at http://www.dice.se.
Forward Looking Statements
Some statements set forth in this release contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Statements including words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect” or “hope” and statements in the future tense are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risks and actual events or actual future results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements due to such risks and uncertainties. Some of the factors which could cause such forward-looking statements to differ materially from expectations include the following: the possibility that EAs acquisition of DICE will not be completed or that the completion may be hindered or delayed; and other factors described in EAs Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2004 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2004. Neither EA nor DICE intend to update these forward-looking statements.