Rumours swirl that Electronic Arts is seeking to be acquired

U.S. company is B.C.'s largest digital-arts company employer

EA Vancouver is set to expand its Burnaby campus by leasing new buildings that are under construction | Canadian Turner Construction Company

Executives at software and game developer Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq:EA) have reportedly held talks with companies such as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) about a possible merger or takeover. 

The California-based company owns EA Vancouver, which last year employed 1,250 people in Burnaby, and has been in expansion mode. EA Vancouver is the largest digital-arts employer in B.C., with more than 50 per cent more staff than second-place Wildbrain Ltd., which has 800 workers in the province. 

Puck News on May 20 reported on EA's takeover talks. Larger outlets, such as CNBC, have also covered the news, which has sent EA's share price up about 7.5 per cent in the past five days, including more than two per cent earlier today. 

EA's Canadian operations are dubbed EA Vancouver despite workers being based in Burnaby, on a 17-acre campus with about 750,000 square feet of work space.

Kingswood Capital last November broke ground on a 180,000-square-foot, three-storey building in Burnaby that EA Vancouver plans to lease. The site at 3700 Gilmore Way is across the street from EA Vancouver's 4330 Sanderson Way campus, and the project includes a second 120,000-square-foot building that EA is also likely to lease.

The expansion would enable EA to house a further 500 to 600 workers in Burnaby.

Vancouver entrepreneur Don Mattrick in 1982 founded Distinctive Software, which EA bought in 1991. Mattrick stayed with the company in a variety of leadership positions until 2007.

gkorstrom@biv.com

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