Officials from Electronic Arts have confirmed that the company is changing the conditions of its take-over bid for Swedish-headquartered developer and creator of the Battlefield
franchise, Digital Illusions CE (DICE).
The company had originally planned to acquire 90 percent of the developer, but this deal was blocked by shareholders representing 28 percent of the firm’s stock. The shareholders felt that DICE could continue to prosper as an independent developer, and were unwilling to see Electronic Arts take over the company completely.
As a result, Electronic Arts has altered its bid to just over 50 percent, from the 19 percent of the developer it already owns. This would still make it the majority shareholder and effective owner, but without quite the level of share control that would have been seen in the original deal. EA claims that it already has agreements in place that would allow it to buy 44.5 percent of the shares, meaning it needs to convince only a relatively few shareholders to complete the deal.
The original offer had to be agreed by December 27th, but this has now been extended to January 20th. The offer of 61 Swedish Kronor ($9.10) in cash per share remains, as do the other terms and conditions. However, Electronic Arts has reserved the right to acquire additional shares in DICE at a later date.
The DICE board of directors had already recommended the original deal to shareholders, and are now urging them to accept this new deal.