EA buys 20% of UbiSoft:


Electronic Arts Buys Nearly 20 Percent Stake in French Video Game Firm Ubisoft

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) -- Electronic Arts Inc., the largest video game publisher in the United States, said Monday that it agreed to purchase a 19.9 percent stake in French video game developer UbiSoft Entertainment SA from Talpa Beheer BV, the investment vehicle of Dutch media giant John de Mol.

Ubisoft is one of Europe's top three video game companies, publishing such titles as Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. Ubisoft, which employs about 2,352 workers, posted sales of $618.9 million in 2004.

The purchase is subject to antitrust clearance from the U.S. government. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Electronic Arts, publisher of Madden NFL 2004, Medal of Honor and the SimCity series, recorded earnings of $577.3 million on sales of $2.96 billion in 2004.

EA Tries Again w/ DICE:


EA Holding AB Changes Condition of Its Offer to the Shareholders of Digital Illusions
Monday December 20, 1:00 am ET

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. & STOCKHOLM, Sweden--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 2004--

EA to Complete the Offer When Reaching More Than a 50%

Acceptance Level and Extend to January 20, 2005

EA Holding AB (EA) (Nasdaq:ERTS - News) today confirmed its decision to change one of the conditions for the offer to the shareholders of Digital Illusions CE AB (publ) ("DICE") and to extend the acceptance period.

The acceptance period for EA's offer to the shareholders of DICE, made on November 15, 2004, expired on December 16. As the calculation of outcome of the offer now has been made, it can be confirmed that shareholders with a total of 2,587,294 shares in DICE, including 1,517,587 shares that the second largest shareholder Bonnier & Bonnier AB and DICE employees with significant shareholdings have undertaken to sell, have accepted EA's offer. This corresponds to 25.6% of the outstanding capital and votes in DICE. Together with the 18.9% of the outstanding capital and votes currently held by EA, this would give EA today control of 4,498,697 shares, representing 44.5% of the outstanding capital and votes in DICE. As a result, the offer has not yet been accepted to such an extent that EA has become the owner of more than 90% of the total number of shares representing more than 90 percent of the votes in DICE, which was a condition for the implementation for the offer.

EA today changes the condition above and conditions the offer upon an acceptance level through which EA would become the owner of more than 50% of the total number of shares representing more than 50% of the capital and votes in DICE after dilution upon exercise of employee warrants outstanding under the option program launched in 2002. As a consequence of this, the acceptance period is extended to January 20, 2005.

The offer of SEK 61 in cash per share remains. The other terms and conditions of the offer remain in effect during the extension period. Assuming that EA completes the offer on January 26, 2005, payment is expected to be distributed beginning on or about January 27, 2005.

EA reserves the right to acquire additional shares in DICE in the market.

The Board of Directors of DICE has in a statement on November 15, 2004, unanimously recommended the shareholders to accept EA's offer of SEK 61 per share. Nordea Corporate Finance has issued a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of DICE, stating that the offer is fair from a financial point of view.