EA offers to buy Take-Two, gets turned down

— 10:26 AM on February 25, 2008

Buyouts are all the rage in the tech world lately, it seems. After Microsoft's bid on Yahoo and Nvidia's purchase of Ageia, Electronic Arts now has its wallet out and its eyes set on a competing games publisher. Shacknews reports that EA has made a $2 billion takeover offer for Take-Two Interactive, the company behind titles like BioShock, the Civilization series, the Grand Theft Auto series, and the apparently still-upcoming Duke Nukem Forever.

EA's $2 billion offer amounts to $26 for every Take-Two share—a 64% premium over the firm's share price of around $16 last week. In an attempt to sell the deal, EA CEO John Riccitiello claimed, "There can be no certainty that in the future EA or any other buyer would pay the same high premium we are offering today." He also put pressure on Take-Two by saying EA wanted to close the transaction quickly in order to "positively impact the . . . sales of GTA IV" through its "strong publishing and distribution network."

Despite EA's insistence, Take-Two has been quick to refuse the offer. In a statement outlining its decision, the publisher claims EA's proposal "substantially undervalues" Take-Two and goes on to say, "We believe EA's unsolicited offer is highly opportunistic and is attempting to take advantage of our upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto IV." Take-Two will reconsider on April 30, once GTA IV is out, but it says now is "absolutely the wrong time" to consider a merger.

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