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FTC Approves BioWare, Pandemic Purchase

| 5 Nov 2007 20:29
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Electronic Arts' purchase of BioWare and Pandemic Studios has been approved by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, paving the way for completion of the deal.

The deal, announced in October, will see Electronic Arts paying $775 million to private equity fund Elevation Partners for VG Holding Corporation, the parent company of both BioWare and Pandemic. Terms of the arrangement call for EA to pay $620 million in cash to VG Holding Corp. stockholders and up to $155 million in equity to some company employees.

Elevation Partners was founded in 2004 by John Riccitiello, who had left his position as EA president in April of that year; Riccitiello rejoined the company as CEO in February of 2007. EA executives said the purchase was intended to strengthen the company's position in the action, adventure and RPG markets.

The antitrust review of the buyout received an "early termination," meaning it was completed prior to the end of the 30-day period mandated by antitrust law. The deal is now expected to close in January 2008.

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