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Friday, February 03, 2006

Codemasters Announce Deering Appointment

Former SCEE Chairman and CEO joins UK developer/publisher;
Benchmark Capital Europe increase stake...

Codemasters continued transformation took another twist today with confirmation that Chris Deering has joined the company's Board of Management as non-executive Chairman.

Having recently stepped down as President of Sony Europe Consumer Electronics Division, as well as Chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), Deering is widely recognised as one of gaming's leading figures and the man who unleashed the Playstation upon Europe.

Chris Deering, Codemasters' new Chairman says: "Over the past 20 years, I have been impressed with Codemasters' excellence in game development and skilful marketing in the PlayStation market and overall gaming space. The company's heritage and the reputation it carries makes this a thoroughly exciting prospect and I look forward to contributing to its future success."

In addition Codemasters has confirmed that Benchmark Capital Europe has increased its investment in the UK developer/publisher, from the 40% which it acquired in April 2005 to a 70% total shareholding.

Commenting on the agreement Ynon Kreiz, General Partner at Benchmark Capital Europe, said: "Since our initial investment last year, Codemasters has demonstrated that it can become a major force in a very competitive and dynamic industry. The additional investment and the appointment of industry icon Chris Deering as Chairman further strengthens our commitment to making Codemasters a global leader in the video games market. We look forward to continue building the company and benefiting from our successful partnership with Codemasters founders, the Darling family."

It has also been noted that Codemasters CEO, Rod Cousens, has acquired a 1.5% stakes in the company. Having joined the company in May 2005 after emerging from the ashes of Acclaim Entertainment, Cousens is responsible for formulating additional business divisions including Codemasters Online Gaming and Codemasters Mobile.

Rod Cousens, Codemasters' Chief Executive Officer, comments: "Codemasters has launched dominant titles, such as Brian Lara International Cricket, which became a summer best seller, and has already expanded its interests in gaming markets with success in the MMO and mobile sectors.

"We are very excited about the company's current momentum and delighted to welcome Chris, a pioneer in the gaming industry. He is worldly, understands global markets and has made PlayStation a major entertainment brand. His combination of intellect, business savvy, understanding of technology, and breadth of experience will be hugely valuable as Codemasters continues its strategy of portfolio and international growth."

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