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Digital Illusions shareholders accept EA offer

Leading publisher Electronic Arts has acquired a majority shareholding in Swedish development studio Digital Illusions, with the completion of an offer made before Christmas leaving EA with almost 60 per cent of the firm's stock.

Leading publisher Electronic Arts has acquired a majority shareholding in Swedish development studio Digital Illusions (DICE), with the completion of an offer made before Christmas leaving EA with almost 60 per cent of the firm's stock.

EA's announced intention to acquire the developer of the Battlefield franchise hit a snag when a group of shareholders representing a significant percentage of the company's stock publicly refused the US publisher's offer, saying that it did not represent the best option for DICE.

However, at the close of the tender offer on January 20th, EA had acquired 32 per cent of the outstanding capital in DICE from shareholders under the terms of the deal, and a further 8.9 per cent had been acquired on the open market.

Combined with EA's original shareholding of 18.9 per cent, this leaves the publisher with a controlling interest of 59.8 per cent of the company's capital and votes - not the 100 per cent acquisition it had hoped for, but certainly enough to add DICE and its valuable franchise to EA's substantial portfolio.

EA intends to pay the offer price to shareholders and complete the transaction before the end of this week.

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