EA Extends Take-Two Acquisition Deadline

EA Extends Take-Two Acquisition Deadline

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Electronic Arts isn't ready to give up on Take-Two Interactive just yet, and has extended its tender offer for outstanding shares in the company by 30 days.

Originally set to expire on May 16, the new deadline takes EA's offer to 11:59 p.m. EST on June 16. The purchase price on offer remains unchanged, however, at $25.74 per share. The company said in a statement that as of the previous deadline date, approximately 6,210,261 shares of Take-Two had been tendered. According to Take-Two, that number represents only eight percent of the total, however, leaving EA far short of its goal.

"Extending our offer will allow the FTC review process to continue," said EA Senior Vice President Owen Mahoney. "EA's offer price remains unchanged at $25.74 per share and our offer is still subject to conditions that include regulatory approval. As stated earlier, we retain the right to terminate the offer if the conditions are not satisfied."

The move comes despite a recent statement by Jeff Brown, EA's vice president of corporate communication, who suggested time was winding down on the possibility of a deal and strongly implied that EA was losing interest. Claiming the acquisition of Take-Two is "not a strategic priority for EA," he said, "We would very much like to give (Take-Two's studios) a home and access to our publishing capability, but we just don't need it."

In response to the extension, Take-Two management indicated it was continuing to explore its options with interested parties, but remained firmly against the terms of EA's current offer. "This is the same highly conditional proposal that EA offered Take-Two stockholders on March 13, 2008, which our Board of Directors thoroughly reviewed and unanimously determined to be inadequate and contrary to the best interests of Take-Two's stockholders," said Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick. "As such, the recommendation of our Board of Directors that stockholders not tender their shares to EA remains unchanged."

"We said we were willing to begin formal discussions with interested parties on April 30, following the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV, and we have in fact begun that process," Zelnick said. "We are confident in the significant growth potential of Take-Two and in the unique value of our business given our strong position in the growing and dynamic industry."

"In the last several weeks, our strategy and Take-Two's value have been vividly demonstrated by two notable events," added Take-Two CEO Ben Feder. "The record-breaking sales performance of Grand Theft Auto IV in its first week of release confirmed its status as the most successful videogame launch of all time and as a blockbuster on par with any entertainment product ever released. We have also just announced an agreement with Universal Pictures to make BioShock, the universally acclaimed hit videogame, into a feature film, demonstrating how Take-Two is delivering value from our powerful and wholly-owned intellectual property. The small number of shares tendered into EA's offer to date demonstrates that our stockholders agree with what our Board has maintained from the beginning: EA's proposal undervalues our company."

Gamers with a taste for the bloody details can see the acquisition attempt from EA's perspective at www.eatake2.com, while Take-Two tells its side of the story at www.taketwovalue.com.

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I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Take-Two will manage to hold out, but given the depths to which EA have demonstrated that they are willing to sink to make a quick buck off of someone else's ideas, I'm currently expecting the worst.

I don't see the point in EA extending the offer another 30 days if they're not willing to increase their price. In two months they haven't even managed to acquire ten percent of the shares, so what's another 30 days going to accomplish if they're unwilling to sweeten the pot?

Any more extensions and this is going to look like a Viagra advert.

Seriously, do EA think they're being altruistic about this sort of soft-handed campaign scheme? It isn't going to work, and the shareholders are still up in arms. What's the point in a 'deadline' if they can't keep to it? Surely, the great game designer sweatshop that is EA of all publishers should realise this?

Here are the pro's and con's if the worst were to happan and they get taken over and how i see it:

PRO'S- much bigger budget for GTA... that' all i can think of the good.

CON'S- Most likely year on year relese of GTA
IT'S EA FOR CHRIST SAKES!!! what more else do you need to know.

Personaly i hope and pray that EA just give up, but like there games i fear that they will just keep turning up no matter what. Come on EA give it up please.

You'er already the biggest damn games Company in THE WORLD.

I think we need to look past just the GTA influence, and focus more on redundancy between the two publishers in regards to other genres. Despite Madden having an almost complete stranglehold on the Football market, I'd wonder how fast games like 'All Pro 2k8' would come face to face with the chopping block - let alone titles like MLB 2K8, NHL 2K8, etc...

Need for Speed vs Midnight Club.

So what if GTA is a cash cow, you can look at this and say that this is EA killing off a good deal of its competition in a single blow.

If you care to discuss budgeting for future titles under the Take-2 umbrella, I think the spot light should be focused more on the innovative titles (be they well received or not) that may or may not still be in the developement pool if under new management. It would take Take 2 and push them more towards the big-business consumerism that EA caters to, and stifle the market of the 'middle ground' developer - those who are somewhere between Powerhouse and Indy developer status.

I don't see the point in EA extending the offer another 30 days if they're not willing to increase their price. In two months they haven't even managed to acquire ten percent of the shares, so what's another 30 days going to accomplish if they're unwilling to sweeten the pot?

EA is probably betting on shares taking a small dive in a few weeks, due to the hyped powersale being over. Then comes the long road for take two to get another hit on the shelves, which will require time and money. EA probably hopes the shareholders won't be willing to take a little hit on their shares for the coming year or so, before they go up again (add-on / milked sequel release or something).

The thing i dislike most about these more or less hostile takeovers is that in the end, the gamer 'suffers' from it. Competition is destroyed and possible gems get put on the indefinite backburner.
In a few years all there will be left is Activision and EA..

 

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