Electronic Arts, clearly not taking “no” for an answer, has upped
its efforts to acquire rival games company Take-Two Interactive, publisher of
BioShock and the Grand Theft Auto series. With no headway made in negotiations
with Take-Two management, EA is now going directly to the shareholders with
intent to purchase all currently outstanding shares of common stock of TTWO.
EA is offering
$26 cash per share, a figure that it has previously offered Take-Two
management without success, with a total cash deal of $2 billion in the case of
a complete buyout.
“This is a great opportunity for Take-Two shareholders. We
believe Take-Two investors will see our tender offer as the best way to
maximize the value of their investment in Take-Two. This tender offer provides
a clear process to complete the proposed transaction,” declared EA CEO John
EA states that the
offer represents a 64 percent premium over Take-Two stock price on February 15,
but now the $26 bid sits at around
4.4 percent above the current price. The tender offer is scheduled to
expire April 11, 2008, unless the tender offer is extended. The release of
Take-Two’s largest title of 2008, Grand
Theft Auto 4, will be hitting stores two weeks after the close of EA’s
Riccitiello added, “For EA shareholders, the combination
would add additional intellectual properties to our already strong portfolio
and welcome Take-Two's talented creative teams to the great development organization
we've built at EA.”
Take-Two Interactive’s board of directors, intent on
retaining control of the company, issued a
notice to its shareholders shortly after EA’s bid, urging them not to
“The Board of Directors of Take-Two Interactive Software,
Inc. today recommended that Take-Two stockholders take no action at this time
in response to the announcement by Electronic Arts Inc. that it has made an
unsolicited conditional tender offer to acquire all of Take-Two's outstanding
shares of common stock for $26 per share in cash,” read the release.
Take-Two added that it would re-examine the offer once
again. “Consistent with its fiduciary duties, and in consultation with its
independent financial and legal advisors, Take-Two's Board will review and consider
EA's offer, and within 10 business days, will advise Take-Two's stockholders of
the Board's position regarding the offer as well as its reasons for that
This marks the second time EA has readied $2 billion in
hopes of acquiring Take-Two Interactive. In February, EA made an offer of $25
per share, eventually upping it to $26, only to be rejected
by Take-Two’s board.
Take-Two’s public statement at the time was, “After careful
evaluation, the Board has determined that EA's proposal substantially
undervalues Take-Two’s robust and enviable stable of game franchises,
exceptional creative talent and strong consumer loyalty. We believe EA's
unsolicited offer is highly opportunistic and is attempting to take advantage
of our upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto IV,
one of the most valuable and durable franchises in the industry.”
of Take-Two jumped immediately following EA’s offer last month, going from
$17 to the most recent trading price of $25.63.
quote: I saw what they did to Westwood, (Command and Conquers series) and just shook my head. Not to mention the sports games seem to somehow get worse every year.
quote: Some of the original Westwood developer team remained at EA Los Angeles, but most left to form Petroglyph Games.